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Men and Public Display of Affection

Everybody has a different way of expressing affection. Our love language may vary even if we feel the same. Physical Display of Affection is a term used to describe physical intimacy in view of others. Usually, men are not comfortable when it comes to PDA which can be annoying for their partners sometimes. This may result in conflict with their partner due to lack of communication and understanding.

But why are men not that fond of PDA? PDA is a choice. But often your partner at the other side may feel insecure about it. Open communication in a relationship is very essential. Especially about your likes and dislikes. Let’s know more about Men and Physical Display of Affection.

Why men don’t like PDA

Though it is subjective. Some men may like PDA. But the majority of them feel uncomfortable with it. Here are some things that might be a reason.

He is bashful

The very basic reason why he is not into PDA can be his shyness. Not everybody enjoys being in the limelight. Some men are awkward around the crowd. They are very shy and reserved. Such people may not like doing basic things like talking loudly, singing, and addressing the public. In that case PDA is way too much of an expectation to put on them. So, when he is not initiating any cute gesture in public or not reciprocating it, maybe he is too shy to do it.

This is new to him

Sometimes a man can feel uncomfortable with PDA just because he is new to it. If he was raised in a rigid or conservative household, it can be difficult for him to accept all the love in public. A man who never saw his parents hugging or holding hands may see PDA as outrageous. He may think that any sort of romantic moments should be restricted to personal space only. It takes time to get comfortable with anything new. Give him time and see how it goes.

Fear of being teased by friends

Male friendships are very open to punch down comedy. We all have friends who joke about something very serious to us. You may enjoy it or feel bad sometimes. Men may not appreciate being hunted for comedy. So, in case you keep hugging or kissing him in front of his friends and he doesn’t reciprocate it, then maybe he is not comfortable with his friends and their constant teasing.

He doesn’t want to make people around uncomfortable

The Initial hit of feelings or any relationship is so impactful that couples end up showering affection a little too much. This may feel good to both of you, but the story can be entirely different for the people looking from the outside.

A lot of people don’t appreciate couples with PDA. Men do think about how people around are reacting. So, in case he is not that fond of PDA, maybe he can see people staring, gossiping or being uncomfortable with it.

He doesn’t consider PDA as a manly thing.

Men were always taught to express less. Being intimate makes you emotionally vulnerable. And some men don’t consider being vulnerable in public a “manly” thing. If he is trying to maintain his macho image in front of anybody, PDA is the last thing he would want.

What is social media PDA?

Social media has taken over the essence of private time. People post about almost anything they do. And that’s completely their will. But a relationship consists of two people who might have different viewpoints about it. Some people do not believe in the concept of posting and showing people about what they are feeling or going through.  As much as posting about your life on social media is a choice, it’s perfectly fine if someone doesn’t want to do it at all.

Now, what if both the partners believe in different approaches. It is very important to understand that just because he doesn’t post pictures with you, doesn’t mean he is trying to hide you from the world. It’s just that he is a private person who likes his life to be private.

If you can see his efforts without broadcasting it to people, it’s fine. Relationship requires two people, not a community to run.

What to keep in mind as his partner-

If you believe in PDA but your partner doesn’t, here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Respect his boundaries – As a woman, you would want everybody, especially your boyfriend to respect the boundaries you’ve set. But irrespective of gender, respect is a two-way street. If you expect him to understand, you need to do the same for him. Don’t get angry if you are into PDA and he is not. Understand and respect his comfort.

  2. Try to understand his love language – Every person has a different way of showing affection. If not PDA, he must show his love in some other way. Do not neglect it. It will make him feel he is not doing enough. Appreciate his way of showing love.

  3. Take it slow- Give him time to be comfortable around you in public. Do not jump onto him with your pre-existing expectations. Put control over your way of showing affection and move forward step by step. Make him feel understood and let him take his time. You’ll see him being calm and comfortable around you with time.

What to keep in mind as their partner-

If you don’t believe in PDA and your partner does, here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Telepathy doesn’t work here, TALK! – Your partner is no astrologer who can understand everything without being told. Tell them about your likes and dislikes. Communicate why PDA is not your thing.

  2. Acceptance and respect are not PDA- Just because you want to maintain the “macho” image or avoid PDA, doesn’t mean you can disrespect or make fun of them with others. It’s okay if you don’t like PDA but that should not make them question your feelings for them.

  3. Start with cute little moments- Sometimes, couples living away from each other do not get much private time. That tends to increase the need for PDA as there is no other option. You can start having little gestures that can keep the spark alive like holding hands, a goodbye hug, waist holding, patting her head.


PDA is a choice. It has nothing to do with what he feels for you. If as a couple you both don’t have the same opinion about PDA, try to meet somewhere in the middle. Do not force and do not neglect. A balance of choices can make this work. Take your time. Also, communicate as much as you can with your partner. Let them know about what you feel and why. Patience and acceptance can help you grow.

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