Ever since Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift were seen kissing atop a rocky outcrop in Rhode Island, the internet has obsessed over the legitimacy of their relationship. Is it a PR stunt? Are they filming a secret music video? Or are they just two romantics who found love in a hopeless place? We spoke to body-language and lie-detection expert Blanca Cobb, who analyzed Hiddleswift based on their subtle body-language cues. "I look and see what stands out to me, what looks different," Cobb told us. "If you're putting a puzzle together, what's the missing piece?" Keep scrolling to find out.
Yeah, it's blurry, but if nothing else this photo proves that Taylor and Tom literally can't keep their hands off each other—even when there's delicious food on the table. From Cobb: "Even though there's physical distance in between them, they have a tight hand grasp. They're still connected." (Oh, and psst: Tom was caught kissing said hand in this photo series.)
After news of their relationship broke, Hiddleswift jetted off to England for a walk on the beach with Tom's mom, Diana. And while they might look slightly tense to the untrained eye, go ahead and check out Taylor's left hand because it's telling a different story. "Her hand is relatively relaxed in his arms, and there have been other photos when she has it tight," Cobb says. "This is just a comfortable, leisurely stroll."
Okay, so this is where things start getting tense. Taylor's touching her hair, which Cobb notes could be a sign of self-soothing. "When you're doing this subconsciously, you're trying to calm yourself," she explains.
Taylor's feet also offer some clues about her discomfort: "You can tell by her feet that she's very uncomfortable," Cobb says. "That's a pretty close stance. Pairing that with the hair touch leads me to believe she's uncomfortable in this photo."
Before you panic, it should be noted that this snap was taken when Hiddleswift were new to the public eye. "If this is a new relationship, and she's not used to them being photographed together, it doesn't surprise me to see that gesture," Cobb says.
Yeah, Tom and Taylor totally knew they were being papped during this photo, but that doesn't mean they weren't genuinely having the most fun fourth of July ever—you can tell from their full-body hug. "He's completely supporting her body weight, and that's very intimate," Blanca says. "That's something you might not see with couples who aren't established, and don't have that level of intimacy or fun. This is very playful."
Taylor and Tom touched down at Sydney Airport after spending July 4th together, and they seemed less at ease in front of cameras. "She has a tight grip with her hands fisted, and he's doing what we call body blocking," Cobb says. "His left hand is over his right and he's pulling a book closer to his body. People do this when they're trying to create some distance between them and somebody else—in this case it could be paparazzi."
Here's where things get super interesting. While both Taylor and Tom are smiling, Blanca points out that they're using a polite social smile: "We don't see crinkling of the eyes, or cheekbones lifted, which are the tell-tale signs of a genuine authentic smile." Not a huge deal since Tom was smiling at a waiting paparazzi, but what's particularly notable here is that Tom's taking on a traditionally dominant role. "He's walking a little ahead—this is, in my opinion, a sign of polite dominance," Cobb explains. "A man who wants to take care of his girlfriend. And for a woman like Taylor Swift, who's very powerful and holds her own very well, it's nice for her to show her vulnerability."
Back in Los Angeles (after major Calvin Harris drama), Hiddleswift couldn't have been more in sync. "Their shoulders line up, their hips line up, and their stride is the same. They're totally in sync, which happens a lot of the time when you're connected with someone in a romantic relationship. You mimic each other's body language, and you don't even realize it," Cobb explains.
Cobb notes that Taylor has a "confident sexy stride" in this photo, showing that she's at ease—despite the swarm of paparazzi waiting for her and Tom. "It's a relaxed, comfortable handhold," Cobb says. "They're very comfortable, while in other pictures their hands are tighter." Considering this photo was snapped after Kim Kardashian dragged Taylor through the Snapchat mud, this is nice to hear.
So, what's Cobb's overall impression of Taylor and Tom's relationship based on their body language? "This is a couple who are attracted to each other," she says. "They had some very intimate moments; there's a level of closeness and attraction between them. I think they're really into each other."
Boom. There you have it.