One of my best friends has an ongoing argument with her boyfriend: she loves being affectionate and lovey-dovey, while he is only comfortable doing so behind closed doors. Is a difference in comfort surrounding PDA an issue, and does it mean anything?
I cannot say this loudly enough: its not an issue, unless you believe its an issue. If it doesn’t really, really bother you that your partner isn’t all over you in public, than its probably a pretty easy argument to just let go of. He might have his reasons, and it’s not fair to put someone in a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable. Some people were raised with affectionate parents, or it may not be a part of their culture – there are truly a million reasons why he might be the way he is. However, if its something that makes you feel insecure (i.e. you feel like he is embarrassed of you), then you are always well within your right to raise it. Phrase it in a way thats non-judgemental or accusatory, and instead more curious – “I noticed that you pull away a bit when I kiss you in public – does it make you uncomfortable? It’s totally ok to tell me if it does, I understand that some people are more into PDA than others”. Have an open, mature discussion about it – it never hurts to ‘check-in’!
If it turns out that your partner doesn’t love PDA as much as you do, then I think thats something you need to respect. If its a real issue for you, and its a true need for you, then it may be time to consider finding a partner that can meet it; though I must say, if this one thing is enough to tear you guys apart, then there are probably other issues in the relationship that go way beyond PDA. It’s ok to disagree on some things, but always remember to ‘check yourself’ and make sure that you are being kind and respectful of your partner’s boundaries.