More than half of Britons don’t kiss their partner in public

Love is in the air for many Brits, with searches for ‘romantic gifts for boyfriend’ seeing a +150% increase in the past 90 days*, and ‘romantic hideaways UK’ seeing recorded an increase of +130%. Although the British love loving, some are not as comfortable showing affection to others.

Greetings card market, thortful.com surveyed 1,500 Britons to find out the habits of Britons when it comes to public displays of affection (PDA), and how many feel embarrassed about their partner being intimate with them around other people. Mairead Molloy, relationship psychologist and strategist, comments on the results and explains why people don’t want to show affection in public.

According to research, nearly two-fifths (39%) are embarrassed if their partner shows PDA. Even if you love your partner, you may not be the one who appreciates public affection very much, even if it’s just a handshake, and you’re not alone! One in three Britons (31%) do not hold their partner’s hand in public and almost three in five (59%) do not kiss in front of other people.

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By gender, women are more likely to dislike when they are showered with affection in public, with 33% of women saying they prefer the affection to be something private. Men aren’t too far behind, with 30% voting the same.

More men are bothered by PDA than women (63% of men versus 61% of women). Six out of ten women (63%) prefer not to kiss their partner in public. Men are more forgiving here, with only 56% of men saying they’d like kisses to be done in private.

Why don’t we like public displays of affection?

Britain is a loving nation, with the majority of Brits saying “I love you” to their partner within a month of dating (18%), but there are still those who prefer the whole love display or something private.

According to Molloy, “public displays of affection force people to become reluctant audiences. And it can be uncomfortable for the viewer.

Affectionate behavior confronts some people with the unsettling reality that they are alone. There’s a sleek PDA, and then there’s a PDA that’s gone too far. So best to keep it light and affectionate, like a kiss on the lips, maybe walking arm in arm – it’s reassuring.

A spokesperson during theoretical comments on the study, “Britain is opening up completely, and so naturally we will see more people out, and inevitably, more love in the air.”