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A Body Language Expert Weighs in on Whether 'Bachelor' Arie and Becca's Love Looked Real

Body language can reveal many truths about relationships — but only if you know how to read it. In Celebrity Couples: Decoded, an expert interprets A-listers' interactions to shed light on their IRL dynamic.

WARNING: This post contains spoilers about the season finale of The Bachelor.

On the finale of the season 22 of The Bachelor, which aired March 5, Arie Luyendyk Jr., 36, proposed to Minnesota publicist Becca Kufrin, 27. But — SPOILER! — their love doesn’t last: After the season wrapped, he reportedly off his engagement and got back with runner up Lauren Burnham, 25, a tech salesperson from Virginia, according to Reality Steve.

Becca Kufrin
ABC/Craig Sjodin

After observing several of Arie and Becca's interactions, Blanca Cobb, a North Carolina-based body-language expert, says she isn't exactly surprised to hear the couple didn't last. Here’s what she makes of the engaged couple’s on-TV interactions leading up to the proposal.

Becca and Arie hug it out moments after meeting.

Arie and Becca embrace after meeting for the first time in episode 1.
ABC

"You pull someone in when you really like them, you're attracted to them, you need comfort and support or stability and grounding," Cobb says of the couple's PDA. "And that's quite a hug."

Cobb notes the way Becca's left fingers are spread wide across Arie's back, and her right elbow rests on his shoulder as she draws his body in. "It could be considered possessive — it's like she wants him to know, 'I'm holding onto you,'" Cobb says. Although Becca's eyes are closed — a sign she's enjoying her hug buddy and the moment — and Arie's curved shoulders suggest he's leaning down to embrace the physical contact, it's impossible to tell whether Arie is on the same page as Becca. "You can't see his expression. If there were genuine joy on his face, it would say he wants to be close to her physically, but contempt, a snarl, or a blank expression could indicate a disconnect," Cobb says.

They stroll on their second one-on-one date.

During episode 7, Becca and Arie wander the streets of Italy before stopping for a picnic.

"It looks like she's feeling it more than him," Cobb says of the way Becca uses both of her hands to hold Arie's left arm. Meanwhile, he stuffs his right hand in his pocket. Cobb also notes the way Becca looks at Arie as they walk; in turn, he glares straight ahead or down, which could indicate discomfort or distraction — remember, they're in a new city and likely in the presence of cameras.

Arie's body language isn't all doom and gloom for this relationship. Cobb says the way Arie matches Becca's stride — despite longer legs that take bigger steps — is a sign he's subconsciously synchronizing his movements with hers, signifying the desire to stay close to her.

They pucker up during their picnic.

Becca and Arie have a full-on make-out session in episode 7.

On the surface, this kiss looks H-O-T: Both parties have their eyes closed, which naturally happens when you kiss someone you feel emotionally close to, according to Cobb. "They're moving around on each other's mouths, kissing the top lip, then the bottom lip at different angles to maximize physical contact — a sign you're into someone," she says. She's not concerned that there seems to be no tongue: Context is key — and remember, the couple is in public with the cameras rolling.

But take a look at Arie's left hand: Instead of using it to pull Becca in or intimately run his fingers through her hair, "it's just there like a placeholder," Cobb says. Meanwhile, Arie touches Becca's cheek with his right palm, then gently moves his hand down her arm in a sign of connectedness. "His left and right hands aren’t synched, which means he could be conflicted," she says.

Becca strokes Arie's arm.

During episode 8, Becca and Arie have dinner with her family in Prior Lake, Minnesota.

When Arie dines with Becca's family for the first time, both of them show signs of uneasiness, Cobb says. Becca holds onto Arie while using her thumb to stroke his arm. "It's could be for her comfort, if she's nervous about what her family is going to say," Cobb says. "Or, she could be doing it to soothe Arie, since it looks like his hand is fidgeting on the table, which could be a sign of anxiety or nervousness."

The couple embraces and exchanges “I love you”s.

Arie and Becca say, "I love you" in episode 10 during an overnight date at the fantasy suite in Peru.

Although there's lots of intimate face- and hair-touching during this special scene, which shows some emotional connection, Cobb finds the on-screen embrace "kind of awkward," she says. See how Arie rests his knee on top of Becca, while her legs remain stiffly crossed and her hips tilted up, rather than toward, Arie? "There's more head action than anything — no natural progression of getting closer or using tongue to kiss, as you'd expect when you're making out on a bed."

And there Arie goes, again, with the placeholder hand: This time, his right fingers are stiffly curled behind Becca's head, rather than actively initiating physical contact and affection.

The Bottom Line:

"Although the body language you see on The Bachelor might not feel natural, it has to be taken in the context of the show, where there are cameras and lots of pressure to develop an intimate bond quickly," Cobb says. "But it still looks likes she's more into him than he is into her, since his body language is conflicting."

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