PDA feels like getting a tattoo - unpleasant and unnecessary, but it seems to be a hit with the men I date. As someone who isn't fond of physical affection in public, I've missed out on many great guys in the past. Unfortunately, this has caused problems in my relationships that I have to deal with, even though I can't help my discomfort with being intimate in public.
1. They don't understand why I hate PDA
Public displays of affection make me feel uncomfortable and exposed. It's not about the person I'm with, but rather my own self-consciousness. I don't like the idea of being kissed or touched in public and drawing attention to ourselves. It's overwhelming and I struggle to cope with it. I need a partner who understands my preference for keeping things low-key and respects my boundaries around PDA.
2. They assume that my hate of PDA means I don't care about them
I dated a guy who wouldn't stop showing affection in public. Every few steps, he'd kiss me and hold me close, which made me feel uncomfortable. I prefer to keep affection private and not showcase it in front of others. I don't want strangers to imagine us having sex just because we're showing physical affection. My desire for privacy doesn't mean I don't care for my partner; in fact, I want to reserve that intimacy just for them.
3. They think I'm cold
It bothers me when a guy calls me robotic just because I don't enjoy PDA. I express my emotions and feelings, but only when I feel at ease. PDA makes me feel extremely uncomfortable, like speaking in public while naked. It's a nightmare. I'm happy to hug and kiss my partner in the privacy of our own space, but I won't do it in front of a large crowd at a public event.
4. No, I'm not embarrassed to be seen with them
A guy once ended things with me because he assumed I didn't want to be seen with him in public. He was partially right - I was embarrassed, but it wasn't his fault. I strive to be viewed as a strong, independent woman who is an equal in the relationship. To me, holding hands can come across as a sign of vulnerability, which I struggle with.
5. They think I've lost interest
There's a common misconception that not displaying PDA indicates a lack of interest in a relationship. One day, my ex randomly asked me if we should see other people because I didn't respond positively to PDA, which he saw as an issue. I was devastated because I had strong feelings for him. He didn't understand my aversion to public displays of affection, and we ultimately ended things.
6. I always have to assure them that I'm not cheating
It's a fact: disliking PDA does not equate to infidelity. While it's true that my reluctance to display physical affection in public can subconsciously harm my relationship, my partner should not jump to the conclusion that I'm cheating. Hating PDA is just as valid as enjoying it. I want my significant other to accept and appreciate me for who I am. I don't want him to assume that because I'm not comfortable with public kissing, I'm seeing someone else.
7. I'm always paranoid that they'll cheat on me
I enjoy going out to clubs, but I despise grinding on my boyfriend. It grosses me out and leaves me feeling uneasy. While there may be plenty of girls who have no problem with it, I'm simply not one of them. I worry that if I turn down an invitation to a Saturday night rave because of my discomfort with PDA, my partner might look for someone else who is more willing to engage in it.
8. Visits to their parents' house terrify me
While I appreciate it when a guy introduces me to his parents as it signifies a level of commitment in our relationship, I experience a major issue during those introductions - I become incredibly embarrassed when he kisses me in front of his mom. When meeting his parents, my priority is to make a good impression and his public displays of affection often leave me flustered and uncomfortable.
9. They can't show me off in front of their friends
The guys I date tend to be the type who enjoy displaying their girlfriends in front of their male peers. However, this creates a significant issue for me as I don't appreciate it when my partner attempts to grope me or make inappropriate gestures towards me in front of his friends. I react by slapping him back, which often leads to laughter from everyone else and leaves him feeling embarrassed. I refuse to be treated as a mere trophy and expect to be respected as an equal partner in the relationship.
10. Guys never tell me how they feel about me
One of my exes admitted that he had strong feelings for me during our relationship but never expressed them because my aversion to PDA made him think I was incapable of being romantic or saying "I love you." My dislike of PDA often creates uncertainty in my relationships, leaving me and my partner unsure of how we feel about each other.