Dating Advice5 minutes

PDA Meaning: Love it or Hate it?

Laura, 15 May 2019
PDA Meaning: Love it or Hate it?

Think about your usual morning routine. In today’s world, there’s likely to be a part where you spend some time browsing social media, just like reading the news.

This is how integrated social media is in our lives these days. And when literally everyone can express themselves online, we are all subject to millions of different views, ideas and ways of living. With the rise of influencer culture and online dating websites and apps, new trends and behaviours keep emerging and are usually fast accepted as norms.

One of these is what we call Online PDA’. This can mean cute comments on your partner’s posts, throwback photos of that trip in Paris… You get the idea!

But why do people engage in online PDA, what does it mean for your relationship if you do and what types of PDA make people cringe more than any other?? Keep reading for our thoughts and advice on these questions.


What is PDA?

PDA, meaning Public Display of Affection existed long before the Internet began to rule the world. Whether it’s kissing, holding hands or hugging in public, couples have been publicly showing affection to one another for decades, if not centuries; and there’s an array of opinions about what’s considered acceptable and what can make  unfortunate onlookers squirm! Take this as an example: seeing a couple kissing by a lake in the park and being next to a couple doing the same thing while stuck in a crowded train would probably create very different opinions about PDA.

Well, thanks to social media, people can now engage in PDA from literally everywhere in the world, at any time of day. You probably already stumble upon these displays of affection everyday while browsing your social media channels. Anniversary posts, countless baby photos, proposal videos and holiday snapshots next to romantic captions are just some examples of what Online PDA looks like.

No matter what your opinion is about these displays of affection, they’re happening more and more and they’re worth talking about to understand why you’d feel the need to engage in them.

Why do people engage in Online PDA?

Ever since online dating websites and apps have taken the world by storm, there have been major changes in the way people behave when dating. That being said, as much as online dating helps bring people together and hopefully meet their perfect match, it also feeds that little green monster inside all of us called jealousy.

Once that’s awake, several insecurities emerge and people feel the need to keep marking their territory or proving to the Internet that they are living their best lives and have an ideal relationship (or at least what the Internet has dubbed ‘ideal’). Next thing you know, your social media feed is flooded with lovey-dovey posts and cringey kissing photos:

Now, you may ask yourself, why do people feel the need to involve the internet rather than expressing those feelings to their significant others behind closed doors? The answer varies and often depends on what stage you’re at in a relationship, how secure you feel in it and which aspects of it you prioritise.

For example, it’s more understandable for couples in their early, passionate days to engage in these displays of affection – and you might even react with the occasional ‘Aww’ when you see posts from them. But the more frequent these posts become, the more unnecessary they seem, and especially in well-established relationships, over-the-top online displays of affection can annoy people or come across as performances instead of genuine feelings.

So, what does that say about your relationship?

If you constantly feel the need to show off your relationship online, that could be a sign that you’re either feeling insecure about it or that you value your online appearance more than your actual quality time with your partner.

Don’t get us wrong! Of course we’re not suggesting that all online PDA should be frowned upon. Just think about how you might be coming across, remember that things are appropriate depending on the context of the situation and above all appearances, your relationship’s health should come first.

So, if you’d like to read more about how you can achieve or maintain a healthy relationship in this online dating world, you can Register today to check out more of our dating advice tips, like 7 TRUTHS ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS – THAT YOU WON’T FIND ON SOCIAL MEDIA, and WHAT IS #REALLOVE IN 2018?.

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