Get a Room, People

Too much PDA: Bad for society, bad for relationships.

Have you ever had this scenario happen? You’re out on a Saturday night with your husband and two other married couples for a relaxing dinner. But instead of digesting your food and fine wine, you’re ready to upchuck because one of your fellow couples can’t keep their hands off each other. Every time a partner leaves for the bathroom or to say hello to someone they know at another table, a make-out session erupts upon their return. During the meal, hands are wandering to places that other people need not see.

Basically, what you’re dealing with here are couples who don’t exercise boundaries in public, and you wish they had cancelled and stayed home (which is where they would appear to be instead). Are they so in love that they can’t leave the bedroom? Or is this just a big show in need of an audience? There are true signs of people who are in a solid confident relationship, and then there are those who might be on shaky ground, and just go overboard trying to prove otherwise. Here are signs of the latter.

  • The man introduces his wife as “his beautiful bride” twenty years down the road. Spare me! Most men wouldn’t think to introduce their bride this way on the night of their wedding. This couple is full of it.
  • The husband and wife always have to sit next to each other at the table even when the ladies are sitting together on one end and the men at the other. If you can’t be apart for a two-hour dinner, something is not right.
  • Everything is honky dory 24: 7 for this couple. There are never any complaints about a mate,  children or money. (Really??) A healthy couple can talk candidly, but without giving up too much information, about the fact that neither person (nor their kids) are perfect.
  • The couple constantly needs to surround themselves with others, from Saturday night dinners to vacations. They actually fully book their social calendar in order to avoid alone time. (Compare to the twosome who goes to a BYOB on a Saturday night, because that is their true enjoyment—being together.)
  • It is tough enough to watch people pawing at each other, but when they start talking about their plans for sexy times later that night, you know that both will be out cold snoring before their heads hit the pillow. Probably not even speaking on the car ride home to boot. Don’t buy into the bravado, it’s a facade.

It might seem that the couples who are all over each other are really the ones who are most in love … or at least most in lust. Not true at all. Those that do it in public likely aren’t doing it in private. All this touchy-feely nonsense is just a big show to mask insecurity and a bad marriage. Tongues down throats, sitting on laps and hands on rears at all times is for college co-eds who don’t know any better. Talking about how hot one’s sex life is adds up to nothing but exactly that…. talk. Who are they trying to convince? Those who are confident and comfortable with themselves and their relationship are more than fine holding hands on the boardwalk or giving each other a quick peck on the cheek when entering a room. It is these couples who are the most connected when the lights are out.



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  • PoetLover

    Have you ever had this scenario happen?.. Nope I have never seen that scenario happen. What kind of horn dogs do you hang out with, that would do that?

  • UtleyFan1

    Wow, do you not know anything about relationships? Have you ever been in one? I’ve read a number of your columns, and so much of your advice is completely suspect, and much of it is prudish, judgmental nonsense. This is so much garbage I just can’t take it any longer. Regarding your “examples,” first: I’ve seen couples introduce one another as “my lovely bride” and “my handsome husband” close to 50 years in – it’s incredibly sweet. You are profoundly cynical not to see this, and unbelievably judgmental to say what other couples or men should or shouldn’t do. Second, many couples, including my husband and myself, prefer to do things together. We do nearly everything together, and are coming on 10 years. We generally prefer to sit together at home and out, and honestly bring everyone, kid and dog, to most things we do. That’s just how we roll – we are happiest in one another’s company. Besides, when I go to events and see the “ladies” (who says that anymore?) doing one thing and the men doing another, unless it’s some sort of orthodox function or a bathroom, I feel perfectly free to mingle with whichever gender I please – and so does my husband, as well as our child. (No word on the dog, but assume he just wants to be wherever he can get food and/or scratches.) Third, how on earth would you know if another couple needed to surround themselves with others at all times? Are you truly this nosy, this pushy, this lonely that you would insert yourself this far into other people’s business? And, finally, as for the PDA displays, while they can be inappropriate when extreme, I have never actually had a friend or acquaintance at a social gathering engage in this behavior once I left college (and graduate school – but even then. Please.). Who are you hanging around with? People in their 20s and/or people who are drunk (sometimes indistinguishable, I’ll admit) often do this – but if you know them, say something funny – they’ll usually stop. If you don’t, avert your eyes, leave, or pull up a chair. Who cares if they’re intimate at home or not – do you have a counter that tells you when, where, how often, and in what positions couples with “true” relationships have sex? (If so, you REALLY have no experience any relationship whatsoever, but, more urgently, you are so lacking a life I’d skip the physician and go straight for the mortician. So sad for you.) In fact, how on earth can you judge what a “true, confident” relationship is? I have seen no evidence that you’ve ever experienced a breadth of relationships, have studied the science of human interaction or behavior, or are in any way qualified to dispense advice about people, relationships, and “good” or “bad” behavior, relationships, interactions, or anything else. Stop it. Just stop it. Sorry. Needed to be said.