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A Handy Guide To Relationships

Showing the love isn't as simple as you might think.

Public displays of affection can be interpreted in various ways and shouldn't be taken lightly. Kate White, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, stopped by The Early Show to discuss the ins and outs of the P.D.A.

There are several ways to show public affection, each of which can be construed differently. At times, the P.D.A. can be a sign that you are trying too hard in the relationship or overcompensating for a lack of intimacy. But often it is simply a nice way to show how much you care for your mate, White said.

White dispelled the myth regarding men and their disdain for P.D.A. "Men actually really like it," she said. "We have a sense that it's all about women, but guys say they like it, too."

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But make sure to keep the right intentions when showing a public act of affection. A kiss on the cheek could mark a problem in your relationship. While it might look sweet, a kiss on the cheek lacks warmth and might indicate that a man isn't "feeling it" as much as he should, White said. If you or your mate is uncomfortable with a P.D.A., however, this could be the way to go.

To show a close bond, wrapping your arms around someone is appropriate.

"A guy who wraps his arms around your shoulders or around your waist when you are out in public is showing how much he is bonded to you," White said. "It's a good thing."

A man could also be using this type of P.D.A. because feels needy. You may want to tell him to take a step back and see what's on his mind, White said.

Passionately kissing in public may be indicative of a problematic relationship. While the man might just have a strong sexual attraction, he could be trying to push the envelope. He also may be doing it for everyone else around.

"When people are thinking, 'Get a room,' you should just drop it and save it for home," White said.

Do not underestimate the importance of handholding, White added. Most people tend to think of it as a chaste gesture, she said, but a man who offers to hold hands is showing that he wants the world to know about your connection. It demonstrates that the two of you have something special together.

"I think the Beatles had it right," she said.

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