I saw this picture yesterday and had to laugh, because my husband and I are totally like this. We are constantly holding hands, kissing, snuggling, and generally canoodling, at home, in front of the kids, and in public.
My best friend has a complete opposite point of view. She’s an adamant non-PDA-er. On New Year’s, when I posted a picture of my hubby and me enjoying a New Year’s kiss, she said, “Nobody needs to see that!” We had a whole discussion in which she accused me of “flagrant, high-school PDA,” and I retorted with a comment about her “childish aversion to marital affection.”
Now, just so we’re clear, she is my very best friend and I love her dearly. Comments like that are made with light-hearted affection. We see eye-to-eye on 99.7% of all issues that come up. On the rare occasions when we do disagree, at the very least I come away with a more balanced view of whatever the issue is. She challenges my thinking and sharpens me by forcing me to think about and articulate why I think or feel a certain way about something, and whether my being “right” is more important than the people it affects. This is one of the few about which we disagree. And, to be fair, there probably isn’t a “right” or a “wrong” to this. It’s going to be a matter of personal preference and comfort level for every individual.
That said, here are some of the reasons why I’m a fan of PDA.
I’ve heard this quote often, “The best thing you can do for your kids is love their mother.” There are other incarnations of the same sentiment, but the basic idea is to create stability for your kids by loving each other. So, what better way to communicate that than by being openly affectionate toward each other?
No one has a problem watching a romantic movie or TV show and seeing the hero and heroine kiss. (As a society, we tend to get an immense amount of pleasure from watching a good deal more than kissing, if I may say so.) Why is it so gauche for a married couple (and not just newlyweds–everyone expects it from them) to express physical affection? And might it be this societal pressure against PDA among long-term married couples that leads to common stereotypes, like “once you get married you never have sex”?
The comment I made on the above picture was this: “My kids aren’t old enough to gross out. Also, we do so much smooching as it is, even by the time they are old enough to be grossed out, they won’t realize it’s gross because it’s normal for them.”
Might it be possible for us, as parents, to set the bar of marriage so high, show an example of love and affection so passionate and genuine, that our children see it and strive for a relationship of equal depth?
Feel free to disagree with me. I don’t mind. But I have no intention of ceasing to engage in absurdly flagrant, high-school public displays of affection with my husband.