Author Topic: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?  (Read 9680 times)

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LifeOnPluto

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Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« on: January 02, 2013, 09:37:21 PM »
I've posted this here, because I think it's more of a friendship / parental issue, rather than a relationship issue. Mods, feel free to move.

I was back in my HomeCity over Christmas. Whenever I'm back, I stay at my parents' house. I sometimes invite friends over - my parents have no trouble with this, and often join in the gatherings. They know and like all my HomeCity friends.

I had a few friends over to my parents' house for cake and coffee. One of my friends is "Zoe". Zoe has been single a long time, and has longed to be in a relationship. Eight months ago, she met "Zac" and they have been dating ever since. Zac is very nice, and I am happy for them both. Their relationship is serious, and they are planning on moving in together soon.

However, Zoe and Zac have a habit of engaging in lovey-dovey behaviour. For example, at the gathering at my parents' house:

- When sitting around the table eating cake, Zoe dragged her chair right up close to Zac's, and nestled into his body (head resting on his shoulder) whilst she ate her cake;

- Later, when sitting on the sofa drinking coffee, Zoe sat so close to Zac that she was almost sitting on his lap. She also spent the entire time stroking his knee. When she wasn't stroking his knee, she was holding onto his arm.

- A couple of times, Zoe and Zac disengaged from the main conversion, and had a brief (lasting only seconds), whispered conversation of their own, which ended with Zoe giving Zac a quick, soft, kiss on the lips.

After the party, my mum (who was also present) told me that that she found Zoe's behaviour to be "inappropriate" and "immature" (for the record, Zoe and Zac are 30). However, despite her discomfort, my mum would never say anything, as she doesn't want to appear ungracious or anything. Nor does she want to ban Zoe and Zac from her house, or anything drastic like that. That said, it is her's (and my dad's) house, and I don't want them to be uncomfortable under their own roof. 

My issue is, I have a few visits planned to my HomeCity in 2013, and there is a chance that this scenario might arise again. I personally feel my mum has a point, but at the same time I acknowledge that perhaps my mother and I are just old-fashioned and overreacting, so I'd appreciate some perspective on this? Do you guys think Zoe and Zac's behaviour was over the top? Or ok, for a new-ish couple?

And if so, would it be rude of me to ask them to tone down their behaviour down next time they visit my parents' house? Or should I just stop inviting them to these gatherings?

NyaChan

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 09:44:59 PM »
I think the whole PDA thing can be very subjective.  For my part, the cuddling and stroking is too much, the whispered conversation wouldn't be a big deal unless it was happening a lot, but that is something that would bother me about anyone sitting in a group having a conversation that excludes everyone else.  Now if they were obviously whispering sweet nothings and then kissing and did this multiple times in addition to everything else? For me, that is too much.

ETA:  If your mom is not so bothered by it that she would ban them, I don't think you need to stop inviting them.  I would be interested to see what other posters think about speaking to them about the issue.  I probably wouldn't unless it was in a joking way with someone I was close to and knew wouldn't mind.

yokozbornak

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 09:47:58 PM »
I personally don't see anything inappropriate or immature about their behavior as described other than maybe the kiss (although that wouldn't personally bother me).  I would feel differently if they were making out or making suggestive gestures at each other.  My DH and I have been married for 13 years, and we still hold hands and are affectionate to each other (like rubbing each others knee) around our friends.  I hope they aren't offended!

Jaelle

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 10:06:15 PM »
POD to yokozbornak.

Personally, I wouldn't bat an eyelash over this. :)    If it's as mild as that, I'd probably be amused (and happy for my friend).

But everyone's different. If you or your mom are truly uncomfortable with it, I might have a quiet word with Zoe (since she's the one you knew first). But bear in mind that Zoe could be taken aback (I would be) and you might find the friendship cooling.

I wouldn't just stop inviting them without a word. I know if I were Zoe, I'd wonder what on Earth happened and be very hurt.
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greencat

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 10:14:52 PM »
Since they've only been together eight months, there's a chance they might have moved out of the super-PDA stage by the time they visit with you when you're with your family.  If they haven't, you might want to tell Zoe ahead of time that the PDA was making your mother uncomfortable - since I'm assuming you're friends with reasonable people, that should be enough of a hint to get Zoe and Zac to tone it down.


Roe

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 10:22:35 PM »
I agree with your mother.

I'm not a prude but there is a time and place for everything and if they couldn't possibly keep their hands off another for an hour or two, then they should've declined your invite.  Eating cake with her head on Zac's shoulders?  How annoying! 

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2013, 11:00:15 PM »
The thing about PDAs is that you think it's inapprooriate until it is you.

bloo

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2013, 11:10:21 PM »
I agree with your mother.

I'm not a prude but there is a time and place for everything and if they couldn't possibly keep their hands off another for an hour or two, then they should've declined your invite.  Eating cake with her head on Zac's shoulders?  How annoying!

Pod. I've only dealt with inappropriate PDA in my house by my friend's daughter and the new fella she was dating. I came close to saying something to her parents, then her, but I kept waiting for her parents to say something. Turns out the father was waiting for us to say something. The mother tried to defend the behavior but I told her later when we spoke about it that their behavior was inappropriate for a dinner party. I'm no prude nor am I an exhibitionist or have a need to behave in a way that shouts "I have a BF/ DH / lover!"

DavidH

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2013, 11:22:50 PM »
Had you not listed their ages, I would have guessed high school.  I think that eating cake nestled up against your SO with your head on his shoulder is a bit much in public.  Whispering sweet nothings together and ending with a kiss in the middle of a small groups is, to me, also a bit much.  Hand on his knee, no big deal. 

I'd jokingly say to them, we have a spare room upstairs if you need a private moment or something of that nature, but this doesn't rise to the level of never invite again. 

bansidhe

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2013, 11:51:24 PM »
The thing about PDAs is that you think it's inapprooriate until it is you.

Well...no, not really. I've gone my entire life without engaging in over-the-top PDA. Holding hands in public is one thing, but hanging all over each other is quite another. It annoys a good number of people and tends to come across as juvenile and ostentatious.

I think it would be perfectly fine to ask the couple to tone it down. I doubt they would take offense if OP explains that it makes her mother uncomfortable.
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Slartibartfast

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2013, 12:32:05 AM »
I do think they were being rude, but I also understand that at the moment they probably didn't realize or care  ::)  Give it a few months - most couples graduate out of the infatuation stage and go on to become polite company.

magician5

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2013, 12:34:06 AM »
Not 100% polite, but they'll be sure to understand, if at some point you tell them "Hey guys, get a room!"
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hyzenthlay

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2013, 12:34:26 AM »
Wow, people seem to have much stricter standards then I.


I wouldn't think twice of a head on a shoulder, or a quick kiss. The hand on the knee might be a bit much, but it might not be.


I think you'd best tell your friend that any displays of affection are off the table. If they are not allowed to even sit close without bothering you I'm not sure what they would be allowed . . . She can decide if she wants to comply, or not attend your gathering.


(I would think nothing of sitting close to my, now, ex, and we were married for 14 years. Nor would a quick kiss or brief conversation have struck me as excessive.)

bloo

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2013, 12:39:27 AM »
Wow, people seem to have much stricter standards then I.


I wouldn't think twice of a head on a shoulder, or a quick kiss. The hand on the knee might be a bit much, but it might not be.


I think you'd best tell your friend that any displays of affection are off the table. If they are not allowed to even sit close without bothering you I'm not sure what they would be allowed . . . She can decide if she wants to comply, or not attend your gathering.


(I would think nothing of sitting close to my, now, ex, and we were married for 14 years. Nor would a quick kiss or brief conversation have struck me as excessive.)

It's hard to explain by posting rules of 'what is/is not appropriate'.

But I think most people can tell by body language tbe couple that's together but part of/interacting within a group and the couple that's created their own 'island' within a group. If people want to be 'into each other' then get a room or spend time doing 'date' things. But if they're hanging with other people then they should be spreading out the interaction within the larger group.

SingActDance

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2013, 12:49:42 AM »
Nothing you described would phase me a bit. It doesn't sound inappropriate at all.

I'm not sure how well your friends know your parents, but my friends and I are even more comfortable with that kind of stuff when we're in each others' homes. I probably wouldn't lay my head on my (hypothetical) SO's shoulder in a restaurant. But just hanging around having dessert with close friends? It wouldn't occur to me that wasn't alright.

Most people look at musical theatre and think "Why are those people singing and dancing in the street?" I'm sort of the opposite. I see a street full of people and think, "Why aren't they?"