Public Displays of Rejection

I once dated a guy who hated PDA. And when I say hated, I mean HATED. I was lucky if this guy rested his eyes on me, God forbid his hand in mine.

When we were alone, you would have thought he was in love with me. He was so cuddly that I used to tell my friends that he was the girl and I was the guy in the relationship. He never spent more than one minute (or one inch) away from my side. Hanging out with him was awesome for me because, at that time, I was hard-core looking for a boyfriend – and this guy was total boyfriend material.

The first time I learned of his little PDA “quirk,” it really got steam coming out of my ears. We were at the San Gennaro Feast in Manhattan and my group of friends were meeting up with his group of friends for the first time. This was a new relationship and I was crazy excited to introduce him to everyone and show him off after speaking so highly of him. Little did I know he was going to pretend I was his sister.

After he didn’t kiss me “hello” and the introductions were made, I stupidly tried to grab his hand as we walked.

“Umm, I’m really uncomfortable with PDA,” he told me, seriously, as if I had just whistled and grabbed his ass.

“Hand holding is a public display of affection?” I asked, shocked and appalled.

He gave me a smug nod, as if to say “Duh.” This escalated into a huge under-the-breath fight.

I was miserable and humiliated. This guy was like a completely different person. My friends probably thought I invented the whole “He’s sooo into me” scenario or, at the very least, imagined it. I couldn’t believe how someone who was so affectionate when we were alone, could be so mean and thoughtless when we were in public. I felt so rejected and loserish. It was the first time I had ever been in a situation like that, and I was absolutely baffled.

The bickering continued until this fool did what he decided was a happy compromise – he put his arm around my neck. Or maybe I should be clearer: He rested his arm around me as if he were a limping victim, leaning on me for support.

I finally managed to shrug away from him after about a block or so.

“Oh, so now you’re the one who doesn’t like PDA,” he said, annoyed.

“Excuse yourself, but pushing me down as we walk like I’m a cartoon character being hammered into the ground isn’t exactly affectionate. It’s absurd.”

That was our first fight of many, and for many different reasons. I came to find out a whole bunch of things about him that I didn’t like, and we ended up clashing way too much. As you probably guessed, things didn’t last with him. For God’s sake, what kind of guy refuses to hold their girl’s hand?

I’m not asking someone to tongue me down on a street corner (Ew, I totally hate seeing that crap). But how about a kiss on the cheek or linking elbows while we walk down the street? I’m sorry, but that doesn’t seem so uncivilized to me.

Have you ever dated a guy who was affectionate in private, but hated PDA? How did you handle it?

2 thoughts on “Public Displays of Rejection

  1. I dated a guy who loved to grab-ass in public. Since, at the time, my ass was rather large, I preferred that he kept his hands to my hands while in public. I should probably mention here that I hated holding his slimy hands. Yes, slimy. Not the clammy with nervous sweat kind of hands but slimy like he just bathed in motor oil. Yuck. Now, this brings up the question of, “How much is too much PDA?”

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