I write this after yet another day of pushing away my lover as he leans in to kiss me in public.

Our country seems to have progressed in ways more than one. Women are becoming CEOs of multinationals. We have stepped on planets that were unheard of! Even wrist-watches have become smarter. Basically, in a gist, the future is here and nations have developed.

But only the world has moved into a broader future. Not our mindsets.

Somehow, we are still living in the stone ages. Hear me out before you wrinkle your forehead and close this page.

So, I’m writing this letter after just another day. Nothing particularly unusual! I woke up, went for my everyday 9 to 5 job and spent the rest of the evening with my boyfriend. We were taking a stroll in the park like every day. It was a beautiful evening and like always, he was laughing at the silly jokes I was cracking. And then, out of affection, he leaned in to kiss me. But intuitively, without giving it a second thought, I pushed him away!

I pushed my own boyfriend away!


Why? Because I don’t love him? Because he didn’t know how to kiss? Because his mouth smelled? Because I like someone else? NO! I pushed him away because I was afraid that the people in the park would judge me. I was afraid of judgement by random strangers. I did not show my boyfriend the affection he deserved because of the society’s narrow-mindedness.

In that split second, I was worried that the seniors in the park would look at us and our public display of affection, wrinkle their nose, shake their heads and call us reckless and ill-mannered children. I was worried about my neighbor seeing us display our love. I was worried that anyone I knew, ANYONE, would criticize our love.



Because I have been brought up in such a society where crowds will gather around and record videos to share on social media of a couple who is being physically violent in public but the moment they publicly display a little affection, they are called names!

And I, a victim of this narrow-mindedness, am afraid to even hold my lover’s hand in public. It’s not like we’re shy of doing anything physical in the confines of four walls but even this tiny deed seems sinful in public.

So, I’m writing this not just to broaden society’s mentality but mine, too. And maybe next time, I will smile and lean in when my boyfriend comes close to me in public because to be honest, public display of affection is not that big of a crime.



Just another millennial!

Author: Zainab Haji