By Jared Sais

Since they began dating over a year ago, Jennifer Lopez and her much-younger beau, Casper Smart, have faced their fair share of rumors: from breakups to makeups, nobody ever thought this couple would last. Most recently, they were spotted at Tiffany & Co. in Australia — could an engagement be in their future? To better understand the truth about their relationship, I analyzed the four photos below.

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Picture #1 (moving clockwise from the top left): Casper’s Body Language

Casper is strutting his stuff, puffing out his chest (literally inflating himself and, perhaps, his ego), flashing a big grin and projecting a ton of confidence with his straight, head-up walk. This action could be overcompensation in order to prove to the press, his girlfriend or himself that he deserves her and this sort of attention. Of course, he could also be showing pride — and when you’re a 25-year-old dude dating J. Lo, why wouldn’t you be proud?

Picture #2: Casper as Protector

For a four-year-old, Emme is actually quite poised, as she isn’t crying or burying her head. She is showing some sort of hesitation by extending both arms towards Casper and creating a closed-off barrier between her and the paparazzi. Emme has a startled, deer-in-the-headlights look – a mixture of surprise, fear and confusion. Still, she trusts Casper to protect her, clenching both her hands with his and literally reaching for that extra sense of security. This behavior indicates that Emme finds strength and support in Casper, who assumes the role of protector as he leads both ladies. J. Lo, unfazed by the cameras and sporting her patented forced, fake smile, is the consummate professional. Even so, she refuses to abandon her motherly instinct as she protectively extends her hand to guide Emme to safety.

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Picture #3: Establishing Shot of Comfort

To accurately interpret non-verbal cues, you must establish baseline traits for comparative analysis. This picture is a great example since, once again, J. Lo has her “paparazzi face” on: she remains unfazed by the photographers and might as well be on stage. Casper is in a variation of his comfort position; having ones’ hands close to the body is a typical and safe default position. He also has a relatively neutral face, which usually means “do not disturb” (utilized universally on subways and airplanes). There is a ton of non-verbal action going on behind the couple, as their bodyguard is giving someone the death stare along with the pinched lips of anger. Whoever it is, they are about to have a very unpleasant experience.

Picture #4: Proxemics & Closeness

Proxemics are observations dealing with space as an elaboration of culture, which means that closeness implies…closeness. Since facial expressions are easily faked (something J. Lo does quite often), proxemics can be an accurate indicator of how close a couple truly is. Consider, for example, how difficult it is to be near someone you dislike or the frequency of couples retreating to separate areas after an argument. We have an instinctual need to be social, and there are countless studies detailing how human contact releases endorphins (that’s why hugging relieves stress and why the correct handshake can lead to a promotion). So how close are these two? As you can see, they are literally intermingled, which says that on an intimate level, things are going great. However, there is more to a relationship than a physical connection.

Conclusion

The jury is out on whether J. Lo and Casper are in it for the long haul, so hold off on any name mash-ups for now. However, if they can overcome an 18-year age difference, which inherently has a ton of pitfalls, I vote for J-LoCa because it’s definitely going to be a wild and crazy ride.

Do you think J. Lo and Casper’s love will last? Tell us in the comments below!