Friday, January 31, 2014

Affection: is it private or public?

Bethany Cooper

What’s your reasoning for affection? For some, it is used to let everyone know who is theirs, or an easy “back off” statement. Others use it so their partner will know how much they truly care, it’s a sign of love. This Public Display of Affection (PDA) has become very controversial. People are now wondering what is truly appropriate. If we guard or words and appearance, shouldn’t we guard our actions as well? People have different standards of what is “okay” in a work setting, in church, out in a restaurant, in front of kids, and anywhere. The most common place I would say is a movie theater. It’s a casual date, eh? Some people are there to watch a movie, and would like to keep to themselves. Others want to hold hands, maybe even make-out. How much is too much?
This is definitely an individualized opinion that varies from culture to culture, or even household to household. When I was in middle school at a private Christian school, I got sent to the Principal’s office for holding hands with my boyfriend at the lunch table.. I saw that as a little too extreme for my taste, isn’t holding hands harmless? On specific displays are rated by men, stating holding hands as acceptable, kissing as acceptable (within limits) and declarations of love AKA “those three words” and unacceptable.[1] If your PDA is attention oriented, save it. If you want that special someone to know they’re special and believe grabbing their hand while walking down the street is cute, go for it. There’s a thin line between “how adorable” and “get a room”. The key is to know what’s appropriate. You never know whose watching. Would you want your children to watch you grope all over your partner? Think about those around you. Some people get offended simply by the way newlyweds kiss at their wedding! CNN’s Jocelyn Voo said, “In other words: keep it PG-rated, kids. Don't do anything you wouldn't want your mother to see.”[2] Can’t keep it any simpler than that. Love isn’t always seen, and it’s definitely not always physical. Affection shouldn’t have to publicized, and if that’s why you’re doing it, something isn’t right there either. Some things really are meant to be kept behind doors..

[1] Eldred, Stephanie. "Acceptable Public Displays of Affection." (online forum message). askmen. (accessed January 31, 2014).
[2] Voo, Jocelyn. "Public affection: How much is too much?." (online forum message). CNN. September 28, 2007. (accessed January 31, 2014).

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