Their interactions back then were relegated to running into each other at movie premieres and generally flexing on other non-famous teens. Well, that is until Justin and Hailey decided to gave the romance thing a shot. It was short-lived and it didn't end well. It was so bad "there was a period where if I walked into a room, he would walk out," Hailey explained.
Fast forward to 2018, when the two ran into each other at a church event and they reconciled. Suddenly, it was PDA, declarations of love on Instagram, and an enormous engagement ring...all within a month. Since making it official with a ceremony in South Carolina in September 2019 (a year after they'd already gotten married at a New York City courthouse), it seems Hailey and Justin are taking things day by day. "The thing is, marriage is very hard,” says Hailey. “It’s really effing hard.” And though Justin says he has "nothing to prove" when it comes to how much he loves his wife, their retreat from the spotlight to focus on their marriage has fans thinking they're due for a closer look.
Now, she doesn't have X-ray vision, so she can't report on what's happening behind closed doors, but author and body language expert Karen Donaldson is more than equipped to analyse Hailey and Justin's moves and dish on their status as a married couple.
A look at what's really going on:
1. They're doing alright in the passion department.
Some people just don't need as much personal space—Hailey and Justin are proving just that.
This body language demonstrates a "solid emotional as well as a physical connection," Donaldson assures. "Sitting in this position indicates a highly loving relationship and that the passion is still very strong," she adds. Looks like despite the whirlwind of it all, they're not fizzling out any time soon.
2. Justin has no regrets.
Hands in pockets are a body-language tossup, says Donaldson. It "can be read as lack of self confidence or extreme self confidence," she explains. In this case, with his wide stance, close proximity to Hailey, and closed eyes, Donaldson knows Justin's hands are in his pockets because he's feeling himself and his wife. How could he not when Hailey's cupping his face? It's a move that means she wants Justin and only Justin.
3. Hailey feels protective of Justin.
This position is a super-protective one, says Donaldson. It means Hailey puts Justin's feelings first—something she spoke openly about about in Vogue. Apparently, Justin's more emotional than she is, and she's more of a thinker, so it's no surprise she plays guard to his heart.
4. They're not afraid of being vulnerable with each other.
Take notes people, this move's called the “double cup," says Donaldson. Holding each other's faces means, "he wants her only to himself and vice versa." Justin using his other hand to touch Hailey's lower back means he's a supportive partner, she explains. And their bodies (see how there's literally zero space between them?) point to what Donaldson calls a "healthy intimacy." Standing this way tells her there are no secrets between Hailey and Justin, their trust is rock-solid.
5. Making Hailey feel wanted is a big deal to Justin.
Walking in unison with your partner is a great sign, but this is a whole other level. Body language like this means Hailey and Justin are on the same page. They want the same things from the future because the have similar goals. Hugging Hailey from behind (again!) as they walk is Justin's way of telling her he'll be there for her no matter what. Yeah, marriage might be "really effing hard," but as long as they're in it together, they'll last...no matter what the Jelena shippers say.
6. Things don't stay heated for too long.
This is "more of a stiff kiss," if you ask Donaldson. Justin seems "reluctant to engage physically" (peep the pursed lips and his body turned away from Hailey's). Sometimes things get strained even if you're rich and famous.
This time, Justin's hands in his pockets tell Donaldson there may have been some tension in the air, but Hailey's in the process of diffusing it with a kiss and Justin isn't resisting. They're in this together, remember?
7. They're proud to have each other as partners.
"The way Justin holds his hand over Hailey's shoulder is a territorial signal, however the way Hailey holds his finger tips states she’s [okay] with it," says Donaldson. Her lean on Justin says: "Yeah I'm his and he's mine, what of it?" It means Hailey has no doubts about relying on Justin and wants everyone to know it.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health US.