Two and a half months after Blake Moynes’ emotional proposal to Katie Thurston aired on The Bachelorette, the duo announced they’d called it quits on Oct. 25. “We are so grateful for the moments we shared together and the entire journey that has unfolded this year, but we ultimately have concluded that we are not compatible as life partners, and it is the most caring choice for both of us to move forward independently,” Thurston and Moynes wrote in a joint statement posted to both of their Instagram accounts. “Both of us will forever want the best for one another and ask you to please support us in our decision.”
They’ve stayed quiet about the reasons behind their split, but according to Patti Wood, body language expert and author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, we can learn a lot about their relationship from their body language leading up to the breakup. For example, in photos from the very tumultuous finale episode, Thurston and Moynes look friendly — but not necessarily head over heels. Based off of those pics alone, Wood says, “I think she picked a nice, relaxed, friendly, warm guy, and not a passionate choice.”
Anyone who saw these two kiss on-screen might beg to differ — when it came to chemistry, Thurston and Moynes didn’t seem to be lacking — but their romantic journey had more than a few bumps in the road. Up until the season’s penultimate episode, fans thought Thurston might choose Greg Grippo, but a long, drawn-out argument riddled with tears and moments of miscommunication prompted him to self-eliminate right before the finale. Thurston was heartbroken, but decided to give her relationship with Moynes a fair shot, and she seemed smitten by the time he got down on one knee.
I asked Wood to break down some of Thurston and Moynes’ most memorable moments, from their proposal to their Instagram debut to that “After The Final Rose” check-in. Here’s what she had to say about their connection, chemistry, and relationship.
There was some hesitation during Moynes’ proposal.
Moynes’ proposal was undeniably emotional, but according to Wood, these engagement photos did show some awkwardness and hesitation. That said, the tension could be due to the posed nature of the pics. “Usually, when it’s a spontaneous and not posed picture — and this is a posed picture — you see the guy have an eagerness in his body language,” she tells Elite Daily. Still, Thurston looks somewhat reserved and uncertain: As Wood adds, her outstretched arm is closer to her own body than his, and her hand is placed over her stomach, “protecting her vital organs.” And while she’s looking at Moynes, she isn’t exactly leaning towards him.
Traci Brown, body language expert and author of Persuasion Point: Body Language and Speech for Influence, also noticed Thurston’s hesitation. “Here, she's covering her midsection, which says she's protecting herself from the situation somehow,” Brown told Elite Daily in August 2021.
Their body language at After the Final Rose was distant.
Thurston’s “After the Final Rose” special was, in a word, stressful. As sweet as it was to catch a glimpse of Blatie as a couple, their interview was overshadowed by her icy confrontation with Grippo. Maybe that’s why, in this pic, the distance between Moynes and Thurston is evident in a very literal sense. “You wouldn’t know they’re a couple from this photo. You’d know that they know each other or they are friends, but it would not be clear that it’s a sexual relationship,” Wood says. They’re seated surprisingly far apart, especially if you look at their “sexual parts,” which appear to be over 14 inches apart.
“It looks unnatural, I would say,” says Wood. “She’s leaning with her upper body, but the rest of her’s not there.” To be fair, though, a raw and soon-to-be-televised conversation with an ex can do that to you. Or maybe they prefer to keep those PDA moments off-camera: Thurston told People that her then-fiancé’s love language was physical touch, and during an Aug. 9 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Moynes and Thurston playfully estimated they’d hooked up around 30 to 40 times in the few months they’d been keeping their relationship on the DL and casually living in different countries.
Thurston & Moynes’ Birthday Kiss Showed Them At Their Strongest
When Thurston and Moynes finally took their relationship public after the Aug. 9 finale, they looked happier than ever. Thurston’s birthday tribute, in particular, showed that their chemistry had only gotten stronger since filming The Bachelorette. “She has her hands around his head to draw him in and have intimacy,” Wood tells Elite Daily. “I like how her head is up and forward towards him, and her body is just merging in towards him.”
Moynes’ body language, however, is more inscrutable. “He’s resting those hands with the fingers slightly apart,” Wood adds. It’s a display of tenderness, but he’s “just not embracing [Thurston] as tightly or as passionately” as she wants. This isn’t inherently a sign they aren’t on the same page but, in Wood’s words, their actions are “not quite a match” here.
Moynes Felt Relaxed Around Thurston
In September 2021, Thurston and Moynes attended the U.S. Open as a couple. This cute shot from Moynes’ Instagram is clearly posed, but according to Wood, it still sheds some light on their relationship. “He’s got just the most gorgeous, relaxed smile in this photo,” she says. “He’s happy to be seen with her. He’s happy to pose for this picture, but he’s not putting a lot of work into it.”
Thurston, meanwhile, looks more intentionally posed — Wood points to her “L-shaped” (rather than “C-shaped”) body, and notes that this doesn’t look like a tender stolen moment as much as a kiss for the camera.
One positive? Nothing about their body language seems to say these two were necessarily on bad terms. Maybe they’ll both land in Paradise and give things another shot, or maybe they’ll stay friends. Weirder things have happened in the Bachelor universe, right?