PDA (public display of affection) takes a specific form in the church pew. When a married couple sits together in church it’s understood that the husband will put his arm around the wife and he’ll keep it there until it’s time to get a hymnal. After the hymnal is retrieved the arm resumes its rightful position like a reflex. The people in the pews behind them are to understand that they have a Good Marriage.

If a couple is engaged or dating, the Pew D. A. can get cheeky. Backrubs are performed with one hand and heads are leaned on shoulders. This is considered absolutely acceptable in the evangelical worship setting. Dating couples can really get into the back rubbing and you might wonder if they’re about to engage in some non-denominational throwdown under the hymnal racks. Occasionally they’ll each manage to get an arm around the other and rest them along the back of the pew. This is called the Double Reacharound and is performed almost exclusively by new couples.

Whenever the pastor says something pithy or spiritually poignant the boyfriend will squeeze his girlfriend’s shoulder and they’ll exchange a tender glance. If you are single when you observe this (or even if you’re not) you may suffer nausea, dizziness, or lack of faith. This is normal. If you continue to experience these symptoms after you leave the church building, maybe you shouldn’t go back for awhile.

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