Students share opinions on PDA

February 17, 2022

Faucher said his connection with Tepper often translates into public displays of affection (PDA), which he said is now a very important part of their relationship.

“We both took a love test [to find] the best form of affection you can give your partner, and I think we scored pretty highly with the physical affection,” Faucher said. “[I apologize] if that makes people feel gross or whatever, but I think that if it’s done in a healthy way, it can be pretty good for couples to be comfortable around each other in a public setting.”

Tepper said she learned over time to prioritize her happiness with Faucher over the slight discomfort of onlookers.

“I’m in my own little world with him and I’m happy, and it makes me happy,” Tepper said. “I don’t really care what other people think and [if] other people think it’s weird, like okay, [being with him is] literally making me happy.”

Izzy Kashper ’24, who is also in a relationship, said PDA is often necessary to keep a couple on healthy terms.

“When you don’t do anything [physically], it creates this kind of distance, and you don’t feel as much warmth or connection,” Kashper said. “It’s unnatural in a relationship to be hooking up on weekends and then coming back to school, and you can’t even hug. It can feel like you have to be fake, and you want your relationship to be as genuine as possible.”

Still, Kashper said it is important to set limits with an intimate action that can be deemed inappropriate.

“I do think that there’s like a certain line of conduct that people should follow at school,” Kashper said. “I don’t want to shove my relationship in people’s faces, and I also think that things are more intimate and more special when they’re done in private.”

Shanti Hinkin ’22, who said she is not currently in a romantic relationship, said she has previously felt uncomfortable around PDA and avoids being around it whenever possible.

“I feel like I’m invading on something, an invasion I didn’t consent to,” Hinkin said. “It makes me an intruder when I didn’t sign up to be an intruder, and it’s just gross. I’ve taken longer ways to class to avoid areas where I know couples were hanging out, and I feel like I have to avert my eyes from them. Even if it means going out of my way or pretending to look down at my phone.”

Miles Cardillo ’22 and Willa Fogelson ’22 have dated for almost three years and said over the course of their relationship, they have slowly changed their approach to PDA.

“For the first year of our relationship, I think we kind of tried to keep PDA to a minimum, a maybe-we-could-just-be-good-friends type of a thing,’” Fogelson said. “Now it’s been almost three years. Everyone who is at the school currently has seen us together as a couple at the Upper School. So, I feel like we’re more [like] a mom and dad now. There’s a little more room for us to be more affectionate in public.”

Cardillo said he agrees that he and Fogelson showing affection publicly is not an inappropriate display.

“I think we got to a place years ago where we moved past that point of feeling like we had to prove anything to each other, or anyone in general,” Cardillo said. “I think now we’re at a point where if people are around us at school it’s gonna make them more uncomfortable to see us trying to separate ourselves because they’re close to us, rather than being close to each other naturally.”

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