So, in case someone doesn't know what PDA means, it's an acronym for Public Display of Affection. That being said, this myTake is dedicated to all these people (because I refuse to believe I'm the only one) that have to watch their friends make out and be the 3rd wheels in the situation.
Let's get one thing clear. I don't mind the small stuff. Like holding hands, hugging, pecking etc etc etc. I'm talking about the real stuff like having their tongues in each others throats or groping etc, you get the idea. Also, I'm not saying that people are not entitled to do whatever they want with their partner, however we should consider that sometimes, these acts may make our friends super awkward.
For example, last week I went to a bar with a friend of mine who had recently found a boyfriend and was really excited to tell me about everything. So, after having that exciting girl-talk, out of the blue her boyfriend makes an appearance. After overcoming the initial shock, because as far as I was aware of it was going to be a girl's night and after the proper introductions were made, my friend left to go to the restroom. And she left me alone with her boyfriend whom I had met practically 5 minutes ago. Saying that the situation was awkward would be the understatement of the year! I tried to make small talk, to break the ice, nothing too important, but the other party was not helping, so we both stood there in the most awkward silence.
Then my friend returned and another round of awkwardness began, as her boyfriend wouldn't stop groping her and kissing her shoulders, her neck, her back and so on. It was not that extreme (trust me I've witnessed worse than that) and despite my friend's best efforts to contain his excitement, he wouldn't stop. I would try to talk with my friend (who was obviously distracted) and him occasionally, but he completely ignored me and kept doing his thing, like I was not even there. I know there are people that will say that I'm jealous of my friend for finding a boyfriend, as I am single, but that is not the case. I'm very happy for her, but when it's just the two of them and me and I'm pushed aside like that, you cannot honestly expect me to be ok with that.
Back to that despicable evening, after having spent almost the entire time staring at my glass, the floor, the walls around me, even the ceiling, at some point I hear my friend saying that they shouldn't kiss in front of me, so I kindly suggest that I can leave them alone to do their thing. Of course, my friend immediately declined my offer and insisted on me staying. After that, her boyfriend was not that "gushy", however it didn't take long for him to forget that and do the same as before. I have to say that the chandelier was quite interesting that evening. At some point I went to the restroom for about 10 minutes in order to escape.
Again to some of you, it will seem like I'm overreacting. Again that is not the case. The events of that evening brought back traumatising memories of an "ex-friend" who constantly wanted to make out with her boyfriend in front of other people. And when I say make out, I talk about tongue, hickies, groping, she even bit his nipples (so disgusting!). Different people react to this kind of situations differently. It's ok to show your love in public. We live in the 21st century for God's sake! However, you should really consider the kind of situation you might put your friends in.
My personal advice to avoid awkwardness, misunderstandings and probably losing a good friend or partner is relatively simple:
1) Give them a heads-up
If you are going to hang out with a friend and you want your partner to join at least give them a warning beforehand. Being caught off guard is the worst feeling ever! Some people might actually get mad at you for "ruining you night" by bringing your signifact other along. Talk to them and make sure that they are ok with your partner coming along.
2) Tell your partner to bring a friend along
I know that when your partner is around, you will feel the need to get more intimate with them. It's perfectly normal and understandable. That being said, you cannot condemn your friend to spend the entire evening watching you two getting intimate. Unless, you are one of those people that like others to watch them while doing that, I suggest that you tell your partner to bring one of their friends along. In this way, your friend will having something to do or be "distracted" enough when you get more intimate with your partner and they'll probably feel less awkward, as long as you don't ignore them both for the rest of the evening.
3) Take it easy
At that moment you might feel so in love with your partner that simply you can't get your hands off them. That's to be expected actually, especially when the relationship is in its beginning. However, your friends should not be forced to witness situations that reach the point of foreplay (unless they are ok with it of course). Respect your friend. You don't want to ruin your friendship by doing something you can pretty well do at a later point, when you and your partner are alone.
4) Talk to your partner about their displays of affection
I believe that the key to a good relationship is communication. You love your partner and you love your friend. You don't want to lose either. In case you feel awkward about PDA-ing in public and especially in front of your friends, talk to your partner and explain how you feel in the best way possible. I'm sure that they'll understand if you want to keep your intimate moments more private.
5) Hear what your friend has to say
In case you haven't realized yourself that PDA-ing with your partner in front of your friend makes them uncomfortable, don't shut them out immediately when they try to tell you so. Your friend loves you, however if you love them too, you have to listen to their side. Don't forget that a lover might stay with you temporarily, but a friend might stay with you your entire life. Think what they said and adjust your behavior accordingly.
6) Think the situation in reverse
Let's assume that you are forced to watch your friend make out with their partner and possibly shut you out for the rest of the evening. How would you feel? Getting in your friend's shoes will probably give you a better understanding of how your behavior makes your friend feel like. In case you are one of those people that are ok with PDA-ing (even the extreme versions), don't instantly assume that your friend will feel the same.
Having a partner and being around them and your friends it's the best thing in the world. Sometimes though you might have to reexamine your behavior around them, if one party is uncomfortable. No one deserves to be the 3rd wheel.
Respect your friends and don't force them to go through a situation that makes them feel bad.