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July 09, 2010



I've never understood the distaste people have for PDA.

Whenever I see it, I think "Ah, look, people in love -- how wonderful :)" and walk away smiling.


Because love, when it is real, is naturally saved for private enjoyment. The full-on smoochers in public seem to be more interested in others watching them then real intimacy, which makes it creepy.

Sarah M

hah! This makes me laugh, as I have many friends (although most of them married) who constantly do this...I don't have 500 friends, in fact, I have only accept 'friends' who I would actually feel comfortable saying something like that too. In the past, I have tried to make it funny, but with a point. Most of the time I write this:

"You know, we can all READ this...!" Because, of course, we all can.

Simple enough, right? If I don't want to "hear/read" anything like that, why should 80 other people be subjected to it that I may or may not know?!

Sarah M


Emily, thats a bit harsh. Sometimes the PDA offenders just don't realize anyone else exists, or it's early in the relationship and puppy love is still running high.

When love is real you don't care what others think.

A Man

I agree with Sarah. I met a girl recently and was instantly in love. I couldn't stop thinking about her. I wanted to tell every person I met about how I felt. "Yes, it does seem to be raining, and did you know I'm in love with ****?", "My, you seem to have fallen in an open elevator shaft. Have I told you how I feel about ****?". Luckily she felt much the same way as I. I felt so amazing, why would I want to keep that to myself? Was it real love? Believe me, it doesn't get any more real. Alcaras gets it exacly right, what's more wonderful than people in love?

On a less funny note, I am troubled by sexism implicit in this

"...and the next thing you know there's some pretty young thing getting mauled...I mean kissed...by her boyfriend at the next table."

Really? Come on, it takes two to tango. The offhand casting of blame on Men I find frankly insulting.


I disagree on the sexism thing. If that's how they come off that's how they come off. Why alter your honest reaction to make it all PC. I prefer honesty.
Yeah, when you're in the initial "newlywed" stage of a relationship the rest of the world does tend to disappear. I think it's cute to see the giggly super smiley hand holding couples. Not all couples are equally charming and I figure that it's probably for a reason. Some couples definitely come off as more exhibitionist/gross than loving, and of course, no matter how head over heals you are there is a line that shouldn't be crossed. As for facebook, I don't say anything, and if a particular person/couple becomes a repeat offender then I hide him/her/them.


I don't know that PDA is entirely inappropriate. For married couples displaying PDA, I believe that it is good and important for young people to see that it is entirely possible to maintain a spark in marriage - and love isn't meant to be turned off once you say "I do!"

Melissa May

Hello Readers,

Thanks for all the comments. It's always nice to get feedback and read the perspectives of others.

First of all, let me say this: I'm not opposed to married couples and the like expressing love to each other publicly, in a general sense, either on Facebook or at the mall (or where ever else they happen to be). Being in a committed and loving relationship is a good thing! Just the other day I wished my husband a happy tenth anniversary and told him that I loved him on my Facebook page. It seemed like an appropriate message since I know most of my friends would be happy to know it was our anniversary (just like I like to know such things about them) and a simple "I love you" is a lovely thought.

When I say PDA, I'm not talking about holding hands, a warm embrace or a goodbye hug and kiss at the gate before she dashes off on a two-week business trip half way around the world. I'm talking about a constant stream of sugar-coated mush or sexual innuendo or behavior, which is not only awkward for those viewing it, but makes me wonder who exactly the couple is trying to convince when their the display is obviously intended for public viewing. This type of thing is both inappropriate and inconsiderate in my opinion.

As far as the accusation of being sexist, I wholeheartedly agree that girls can be equal opportunity offenders. In this particular case I was just calling it as I've seen it. I wasn't intending to make a blanket statement about all teenage boys, but simply describing a scenario I've seen played out all to frequently. If it came across as anything else, I apologize.

I sincerely thank you again for your participation in the discussions here at Modestly Yours.

-Melissa May


I agree with Melissa. I'm married and have kissed my husband good bye or met him at work and pecked and hugged in front of people. I do not make out with him in public. There is a limit.

It often feels as though people are trying to prove something or rub it in your face somehow, when they're just going at it in a public. This seems to be to be either a new couple thing or a high-school/ young couple thing. It fades quickly.

In terms of the FB postings, you could comment on their inappropriate posts with humour and see if they resent the intrusion and therefore stop. The other option is to say something to them personally and in a round-about manner if that makes you feel better. (I don't know how that would work though, it's rather individual.) Of course there is always the option of de-friending them but, not knowing how far the comments have gone, it seems a bit extreme. I favour intruding on their posts to each other.

Brian Jones

I was just going to ask that you define what your meant by Facebook PDA, but your last comment explains it. You should have originally included a more specific definition in the original post--just some polite feedback. :)


Melissa May

Thank you for the feedback Brian! I think you're right. A better definition in the original post would have been helpful. I'll keep it in mind for next time.

-Melisa May


People seem to be reacting to the issue of PDAs in general, which is fine, but Melissa's post was about Facebook PDAs specifically and personally, I thought her post and the questions raised were quite clear. Melissa wrote that she was talking about receiving a feed of "constant lovey-dovey-mushy-gushy posts [from a couple's]walls."

I think the weirdness here goes beyond PDA. What does it mean to post on someone's Wall vs. sending them a personal message? If you choose to post on someone's Wall instead of sending a message, you are essentially sending them a message which you want everyone to read. Why? What are our motivations? To me, the Wall seems like a great tool when it comes to Happy Birthday-type messages or threads others would be interested in, but when it comes to very personal messages, it's not obvious that the Wall is the best format for that kind of message.

Just because the Facebook Wall option encourages a particularly external way of relating doesn't mean we have to use it religiously, without questioning it.

Personally, I have never accepted the Wall format to deliver my private messages to people. Other than the most general missives (Happy Birthday, a congratulations, etc.) I use the Facebook "Send a message" option to deliver my personal messages to people. Am I the only one who does this?

As for Melissa's original question, I don't know--maybe send the lovebirds a link to this blog? :-)

Account Deleted

I think that, unless it was a close friend, I would probably just hide the couple on my feed. I wouldn't see it as my place to say anything. If either member of the couple were a close friend, though, I would probably try to gently hint to her that that sort of affection is best kept to the private sphere. What is a friend for, if not to help one to grow, mature, and learn?

Cady Driver

I disagree with everyone criticizing facebook PDA's. I think that in freedom of speech, in this spouse bashing world, I think it's great when people publicly acknowledge that they are in love with their spouses. Where's the harm in that? Obviously, if it's inappropriate sexual comments, then that is different, but just let people be themselves!

We are all so interested in regulating everything and everyone's lives that it become a little bit too much! You cannot make rules or speak to another person about what they do on facebook in the area of being mushy. Just smile relax a bit and enjoy two people being in love. Maybe more people need to read these PDA's in our divorce and cheating ridden culture.

:) No, offense...just my opinion.


My husband and I occasionally PDA on Facebook; and we've been on the verge of divorce since the day we married(we're 10 years in). If we were honestly thrilled about each other, I seriously doubt we'd be talking to each other online, and displaying ourselves competitively. Shamefully, it's much easier for us to be "nice" online than in person. We know a few other couples who live in this unfortunate way.


I totally agree with Melissa, Facebook is a public forum, the entire world can see everything you write! & unless it a couple's anniversary or b/day keep it private! or if your spouse/other significant is far away from you (& note, not in the other room next to you!!) then its appropriate to say 'I miss you', or 'I love you'. I don't find it 'cute' or 'sweet' if he/she is in the other room!! It reminds me of 2 friends having a 'facebook wall' conversation when they next to each other...what ever happened to human connectivity..are we moving towards a world where we only communicate electronically??


To the author:

I suggest sending each member of the couple a message saying that you're uncomfortable with the intimacy of their messages, and ask them to please send each other messages from now on. If they're offended or mad, then that's too bad, but at least they'll know how others feel about what they're doing.


I have a friend who's dating a girl that leaves the most ridiculous status updates on his page. We're talking junior high maturity here. The problem is that I he doesn't reply and write nice things back, she gets upset. This is a 26 and 23 year old. I cringe when I see her posts, to the point that I hid her activity from my wall. Still, other friends fill me in on the disgusting things she writes on his wall. I've commented before, things like "gross" or "text message" but that doesn't it start to slow it down. My friend will never say anything to her about it, even though he's admitted to me that he doesn't like it and it embarrasses him. I hate seeing my friend so controlled! BBecause of this, facebook PDA has left a TERRIBLE taste in my mouth.

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