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We Had a Body Language Expert Analyze Selena Gomez and The Weeknd—Here's What She Discovered

"She wants to make sure that she's connected to him every single time they're photographed."

Photography, Gesture,

Selena Gomez and The Weeknd were spotted kissing outside a restaurant in early January, and the internet breakage was swift. Maybe it's because everyone needed a distraction from the other, er, events of 2017, or maybe everyone just really loves love—but either way people are obsessed with tracking Selena and The Weeknd's relationship.

Ironically, the pair haven't spoken that openly about their coupledom, but they've been extremely affectionate in public—causing much analysis. In order to find a more nuanced reading of Selena and The Weeknd's PDA, we spoke with experienced body language expert Patti Wood (author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma). Get intel on their cutest photos below:

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1 January 10

January 10: Selena seen with The Weeknd leaving Giorgio Baldi Restaurant in Santa Monica, California. #selenagomez #theweeknd

A post shared by Selena Gomez News (@stunningselenamg) on

This is one of the first images of Selena and The Weeknd together, and was presumably taken right when they realized paparazzi were photographing them. The result? Some significant tension in The Weeknd's body language. "The look on his face is 'I've been captured,' while hers is more loving," Wood says. "To me there's tension—he has his hand over hers, but he's pulling it down away from his neck a little bit." 

2 January 27

One of the themes you'll see in these photos is that Selena seems much more affectionate than The Weeknd does. As Wood explains, "She puts in more energy. She's probably the less secure, the more demonstrative, and more in need one. She's the one moving, touching, and going towards him."

That said, this is one of the rare photos where The Weeknd is matching Selena in terms of public demonstrativeness. "They have a nice clasp," Wood says. "It's one of the only times I've see him hold her up."

3 January 28

January 28: Selena seen having dinner with The Weeknd in Florence, Italy #selenagomez #theweeknd #abeltesfaye #abelena

A post shared by Selena Gomez News (@stunningselenamg) on

Selena and The Weeknd were spotted having dinner during their Italian getaway, and again, she's the one putting effort into their affection. "He's not touching her. She's the one that's demonstrative," Wood notes. "But still, there's tenderness between them."

So, what does Selena's tendency to be more demonstrative mean? "She wants to make sure that she's connected to him every single time they're photographed, and in many times show that she depends on him," Wood explains. "She literally puts her weight on him. It's very dramatic."

4 March 1

Wood cites this photo as another indication of how much energy Selena puts in their PDA. "She wants to say 'you're mine.' But the location of the kiss is sweeter and less lusty. I'd like to see him touching her in this photo and instead his arms are sort of folded over. Again, she tends to make the effort, hang on him, put her weight on him."

5 March 16

March 16: Selena and Abel seen out and about in Toronto, Canada [gomez-pictures.com] #selenagomez #theweeknd #abeltesfaye #abelena

A post shared by Selena Gomez News (@stunningselenamg) on

This is a rare moment of public affection from The Weeknd (understandable: these two are surrounded by cameras all the time). "His touch indicates tenderness and cherishing—it's not overly sexual," Wood says. "But if you look at her posture, she's leaning back on him and he's not pulling her in. It indicates that he respects and honors exactly where she is in this moment."

6 March 25

This photo is a perfect example of how intensely Selena wants to (literally) stand by her man. "She had to twist to get in that position," says Wood. "She still wants to be connected to him, and it's very effortful. She's made a symbolic decision. Her body language is saying, 'You're my fans, but I'm with him.'"

7 March 26
Splash News

Selena and The Weeknd might not be touching in this photo, but her body language still says says so much. From Wood: "That lift in her face and light in her eyes says 'He's just wonderful.' The fact that she still see feels this way even when they're not physically coupled up tells me their relationship is more constant and less needy."

8 March 28

Best for last! This is the only photo where Wood sees The Weeknd as "joyful" thanks to indicators like raised brows and an open mouth. "His body is angled toward her, so he's the one showing they're a couple," she explains.

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