When Public Displays of Affection Become Disrespectful

Kissing at Santa Monica Pier

Public displays of affection say a lot about a couple.  For one, that they are a couple.  But physical contact can also reveal if the relationship is new, if their feelings for one another are real, or if one of them is just passing time.

While body language and physical contact are interesting to observe, and are a healthy part of communicating feelings in a relationship, there are lines that may be crossed.  These lines are typically set by the situation and environment in which a couple find themselves.

How Much is Too Much?

In a recent conversation with friends, some of us shared our views regarding the times, places, and circumstances in which touching, kissing, walking arm-in-arm, or holding hands become offensive or disturbing.  Though our opinions varied a bit, one thing was clear: age and background aren't necessarily factors in how people feel about the subject.

When you are in a public space, you are sharing that space with any number of people.  And each of them have a right to be there just as you do.  Though we are individuals, and maybe even anonymous, if we disrupt the atmosphere of the public space we are sharing, or cross an unwritten rule of etiquette and protocol, we will be noticed.

You don't have to be new to love to find yourself in a display of affection.  It's a natural reaction when you're with your favorite person!

However, when you go beyond kind words, smiles, and brief eye contact, things can get a bit risque if you aren't mindful.

Hands
Holding hands is wonderful as long as you aren't blocking someone's path or view.  The same goes for walking arm-in-arm.
But free-roaming hands, particularly when in an embrace, will probably draw some attention to you and your partner.

Kisses
Quick greetings, pecks on the cheek, or a "caught up in the moment" kiss are sweet and special.
But a long, drawn-out, passionate kiss (especially when paired with roaming hands) is seriously questionable.

Hugs
A meaningful embrace with someone you care about or haven't seen in a while sends a positive message to others around you.
But snuggling really close, especially when facing, or standing right behind, another person can cross the line of appropriateness.

A Show of Respect

An act of love is one thing, but an act of lust raises eyebrows when displayed in public.  It can leave a negative impression in the minds of others, and has been known to damage reputations socially and professionally.

One reason to keep your public displays of affection in check is keep this from happening.

People talk.  And one of the things they will talk about when it comes to couples is the level of respect they have for each other.

Who hasn't experienced, or been vicariously pleased with, the realization that love can overtake humans to the point they cannot disengage for even a second?  I think we can all agree that being in love is fantastic!  So it’s natural to want others to witness what a wonderful experience has befallen us.

Loving and respectful affection will never raise eyebrows.  It will, however, be a shining example of how two people treat each other when they are in love.



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