Kissing friend's cheeks and giving everyone a hello hug has become the norm so the British reputation for being reserved and not so 'touchy feely', has been mostly quashed. But how much affection in a public place is OK? Seeing couples holding hands, or linking arms, while walking down the street is perfectly acceptable but it's the goodbye kiss that seems to cause concern. A quick hug and peck shows the couple are comfortable with each other, and confident in their relationship, but also aware of their location. The full-blown snog outside the train station, while blocking the route of exiting commuters, seems to show a need to let others know they have staked their claim rather than a love for the person they are kissing. It has similarities with animal scent-marking to keep others at bay.
Is it loving or simply attention seeking? Those with a more extrovert nature often enjoy some PDA (as the term is known) and they might say they find it exciting but as we're talking about something that's in a public place those who enjoy dabbling in PDA need to not make others feel uncomfortable.
PDA is extremely subjective and relative. Some smooching in the dark in the cinema seems more 'acceptable' than getting it on during your bus ride home afterwards. And who's doing it also makes a difference. An attractive couple in their twenties having a tongue sandwich as the pubs kick out seems more 'acceptable' than young teenagers or senior citizens. Location matters too as bumping and grinding on the dance floor is better than at the bar when the person behind is waiting to be served.
Maybe it's when the tongues come out and the kiss is prolonged that the line is crossed to unacceptable public behaviour. Genuine love and not a display of lust are within the 'rules' but outright sexual or lewd displays should be kept private.
Obviously across cultures, nationalities and age groups we see this subject in different ways but with the festive season upon us, how do you feel about public displays of affection? What's the limit for affectionate invasions of space that will make you want to shout, "Get a room!"