Bleughhh. Is there anything quite so revolting as sitting near a couple who start smooching on a train or a bus?
I found myself in just such a situation this morning. The couple in question were saying an extended “goodbye” before he got off the train. Look, I have no issue with kissing your significant other farewell, but does that really need to involve dozens of (very audible) kisses over the last few stops before parting?
I’m jesting a little, but I do have a point. I am a firm believer that public displays of affection like extended or frequent kissing, holding each other close, gazing longingly into the other’s eyes – unless you are at your wedding – should be relegated to the private sphere.
- It makes people (like me) uncomfortable – feeling as if I’ve been inadvertently drawn into your private, intimate moment. Everything in my body repels this experience while it’s going on but I’m forced to endure it by virtue of the fact that I am generally unable to leave the situation. (And why should I anyway, if I’m minding my own business catching public transport?) Also, have you heard what dozens of smooches sound like in public? It’s positively nauseating!
- It’s discourteous. Treating the public space as if it’s your own private area just isn’t kind to the people around you. Trust me, nobody wants to see you macking away at the bus stop. And if you’re doing it because you “don’t care” – you’ve just proved my point. Have a care for your neighbours, please.
- It’s inappropriate – and not just for children. Back in the day, it was nothing short of scandalous to engage in any of the aforementioned PDA, because everyone understood that gestures of intimate affection with your beloved (not including handholding or polite pecks on the cheek or lips) are reserved for the private sphere, not polite society. PDA is a very recent phenomenon – and has come out alongside all the very worst in sexual deviancy. Just think about that for a minute.
- On a more serious note, it can really hurt. I once heard a woman say she was mindful not to kiss and do all that other couple-y stuff in public with her significant other because she remembered how much it sucked being single and seeing couples expressing their affection in public around her. In my lower moods, I’ve experienced the same. You can’t help being out in public, running your errands, going to work, and generally doing your thing. Couples, however, can help being overly affectionate when they are out in public.
At the end of the day, I think it all comes down to charity and modesty. Just to be absolutely clear, I’m talking very specifically about being out in public, here. It’s different when people are in their own homes or those of friends; if they’re at parties or private functions, etc. I still think PDA should be somewhat limited in these situations, particularly in light of point 4, but I also don’t want to come across as some sort of affection nazi.
For the record, I think handholding in public is fine (as long as you’re not permanently joined at the fingertips) even though, for me as a single person who wants to be married, it can still hurt a bit. But I won’t say anything negative about this, nor do I wish to see simple, appropriate affection restricted in public. All I ask is that couples show singles (and the rest of society) the same courtesy.