PDAs: How to walk the line between romance and showmance
Published 22/06/2016 | 02:30
What type of Euro 2016 experience FAI boss John Delaney is having, given the on-pitch struggles of the Irish team, remains anyone's guess.
But there was no mistaking his feelings for his girlfriend Emma English when he planted a passionate smooch on her in the middle of the game.
No one could blame the two for getting caught up in the intoxicating romance of Bordeaux, but taking time out during a crucial Irish match for a snog? Was the football that unbearable to watch?
It's not the first time that the two got carried away in the moment, in the stands, in full view. Last year, then-sports minister Paschal Donohue had to suppress a giggle during an Ireland v England soccer game at the Aviva when the pair packed on the PDAs (public displays of affection, in case you're blessedly unaware).
Now, being in love is a wonderful thing. That much is certain. Brain chemistry is altered in the first flush of romance, meaning that couples often get enveloped in a fog of love hormones. It prompts them to smooch, snog, cuddle and canoodle whenever and wherever possible. And sometimes, it's lovely to see people let their guard down and get swept up in the moment. Yet there comes a time when the PDAs are too inappropriate, too forced and too damned public.
Whether it's taking over a Luas tram with an NSFW display, holding hands on the street (and blocking everyone in your path) or even just gazing longingly for just that bit too long into one another's eyes, there are so many ways for PDAs to hit a bum note.
The latest twosome to join the PDA brigade is rumoured new couple Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift. The jury is out, for now at least, on whether their beachside canoodling - and the resulting pictures, in which even the seaside rocks looked styled - was a publicity stunt. Showmance or not, the pair weren't backward in coming forward with their affectionate display.
Yet with Tom's female fans becoming ever more ardent by the day, Hiddleswift really would be wise to move their (really very genuine) action indoors.
With that, here's our cut-out-and-keep guide to taking your romance out into the open air, without making everyone else reach for the sick bucket.
Remember who you are with
Poor Malia Obama recently had to endure the ignominy of her parents Barack and Michelle puckering up right next to her. Mercifully, the happily married couple rarely engages in the type of carry-on that would cause too much consternation. Usually, their public smooches are family friendly enough (well, unless you're their poor daughter).
Being in public is not the time or place for kissing 'experimentation'
K.I.S.S. - keep it simple, stupid. Who can forget the time Shane Warne sucked the life out of Liz Hurley's bottom lip during a day at the races? Several onlookers were forced to avert their gaze as the two enjoyed their rather, um, unorthodox snog. See also: Kanye West 'tasting' Kim K's tongue, time and time again. Grim.
Ronan and Storm Keating proved themselves a brave pair, attempting a full-on smooch while riding on the back of a golf buggy at a music festival last year. Their decision to throw caution to the wind is admirable, but like a jumpsuit 'n' wellies combo, this sort of carry-on is rarely a good look.
Don't go overboard
Fine, if you live in Hollywood, 'overboard' is a somewhat abstract phrase. Yet when Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were in the youthful bloom of their ill-fated romance, they went from merely engaging in PDAs to doing the full Old Hollywood bit. Everywhere. Onlookers were forced to choke down their bile as Tom chucked Katie into a proper Greta Garbo-type throwdown. They soon became the scourge of the red carpet with their carry on, and we heaved with relief when the romance cooled.
Don't overcompensate in public for what's going on in private
Sometimes, the couple that PDA in public doth protest too much. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were the very picture of marital bliss on a holiday break in the Caribbean; walking arm in arm on the beach, stealing the odd kiss here and there. Approximately three minutes later, the pair announced their split and Brad was snapped on a beach with Angelina Jolie and her son Maddox. At that point, the pair were keeping a rather respectful distance from each other. And they say the camera never lies.
Be aware of who's watching
Unless you are using it as a wily career move to shimmy up the greasy pole of Z-list celebrity, PDAs on-screen are a no-no. Just ask Marco Pierre White Jr, who has been quite the contrite figure this week following a turbo-charged week of PDAs inside the 'Big Brother' house.
Keep it family friendly
Jessica Simpson and husband Eric Johnson decided on an X-rated Instagram post for Valentine's Day, using the hashtag #fiftyshadesofjohnson. Warning: search out the offending image at your own risk. You won't be able to erase the memory.
Kiss like you mean it
Beyonce and Jay Z may have been aboard a yacht on their Italian getaway, but they didn't seem to get swept up in the moment too much. Body language experts noted how the pair kept a suspicious distance from each other, while Jay's face was the epitome of discomfort. Oh dear.
If you've been married a while, you get a hall pass
Bono and Ali Hewson may be married 34 years, but they are still prone to smooching like a pair of love-struck teenagers from time to time. We all need a rock-solid couple to believe in, so that we don't all become lovelorn cynics, and Bono and Ali are as good a touchstone couple as any. Plus, their PDAs rarely stray into inappropriate territory. (See also, Posh and Becks, who are fond of the odd courtside canoodle.)
If you're a couple who usually keep things private, you also get a hall pass
Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander are notoriously shy about bringing their year-long romance out into the open air. This made their short and sweet kiss at the 2016 Oscars even cuter: as Alicia stepped up to pick up her Best Supporting Actress gong, she planted a quick, but excited kiss on her visibly proud boyfriend. The world appropriately swooned in response.