Here's How Zayn Malik & Gigi Hadid's Body Language May Have Predicted Their Breakup

by Candice Jalili
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

ATTENTION, ZAYN AND GIGI FANS: I have some troubling news for you. After two glorious years together spent doing totally normal couple stuff like shooting music videos and taking pictures to grace the cover of Vogue, one of the world's favorite power couples has just called it quits. This may come as a shock to most of us, but according to body language experts, Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid's body language may have been hinting at trouble in paradise for quite a while now.

But before we get to that, let's talk about Zayn and Gigi's breakup for a second. The rumors of the couple's split started swirling around when The Sun first reported that a source claimed their busy work schedules drew them further apart from each other and ultimately caused them to split.

According to the insider, the breakup was a mutual decision. The unnamed source claimed to The Sun:

They both have respect for each other. It’s a mutual decision so no one has completely ruled out a reunion in the future, but for now that’s not where their heads are at.

Following that report, things got extra suspicious when fans noticed Zayn had officially stopped following Gigi on Instagram.

Later this afternoon, however, Zayn confirmed the breakup himself via a tweet he posted, which stated:

Gigi and I had an incredibly meaningful, loving and fun relationship and I have a huge amount of respect and adoration for Gigi as a woman and a friend. She has such an incredible soul. I'm grateful to all of our fans for respecting this difficult decision and our privacy at this time, we wish this news could have come from us first. We love you all. xZ

Gigi also confirmed the breakup rumors this afternoon in a heartbreaking tweet:

Breakup statements often seem impersonal because there is really no way to put into words what two people experience together over a few years .. not only in the relationship, but in life in general. I'm forever grateful for the love, time, and life lessons that Z and I shared. I want nothing but the best for him and will continue to support him as a friend that I have immense respect and love for. As for the future, whatever's meant to be will always be. xG

But where did this breakup come from? Was it totally and completely out of the blue, or should we have seen it coming? Let's take a look at some of their photos throughout the years and see what certified body language experts have to say.

In the beginning, they really were in love.

This picture was taken almost a year ago, and Patti Wood, a body language expert who holds a BA and MA in Body Language and Nonverbal Communication, hypothesizes that this is was a time where the now-ex couple was thoroughly in love.

"If you look at her, she's actually nestled up to him," Wood explains. Her nestled body paired with what Wood describes as her "serene smile" and closed eyes symbolize a great feeling of comfort in Gigi. "She has to feel incredibly safe to go to that place," she says. "There's also this other little tiny shift — if you look at her shoulders, they're lifted up. Her head is toward him, her shoulder is lifted up to show happiness, and they're merging their faces as well."

Now, let's talk about Zayn. "If you look at his body, he's not pushing toward her. He's not invading her in any way," says Wood. "His chin is gently resting on her shoulder. If you look at his head ... it's just extended so that it supports her, but it's not overextended. It shows a gentleness to his love for her."

This is not to mention the fact that both of their eyes are closed, which, according to Wood, is a fantastic sign. "In this case, both their eyes are closed, so what we have here is an equitable relationship that's very nurturing for her," she states. "He's able to give the nurturing, and it's making them both happy and serene."

If you find yourself wondering why they stayed together even after looking less happy in subsequent pictures, Wood suggests looking back on this picture. She theorizes, "My guess, intuitively, is that they had this and they're wrestling because they both want this again."

Gigi was very attracted to him, but he may not have always picked up her signals.

While Gigi's upper body looks very posed to Wood, her lower body tells a more honest story about her and Zayn's sexual relationship. She finds that Gigi's hand in front of her crotch coupled with their legs touching may indicate "she's feeling aroused and she's actually imagining having a sexual encounter with him."

Traci Brown, body language trainer and author of Persuasion Point: Body Language and Speech for Influence, highlights the fact that, in response to Gigi's sexual body language, Zayn makes an interesting decision to just stare blankly at the camera, totally unfazed.

Eventually, their equal balance may have shifted.

By January of this year (when Gigi posted the above video in honor of Zayn's 25th birthday), Wood already notes a strong shift in their dynamic.

While Zayn appeared to be more gentle in the first picture we saw, Wood notes that he's making more of an effort in the above picture "in an invasive way." She presumes that "he's been sort of trained by now not to interfere with her face toward the camera," but it's evident in the video that he still wants to go to her lips, despite knowing he's not going to. "Even if you look at the way his hand goes, he's actually pushing her cheek and face up and toward his lips because that's what he wants, and she's not giving that to him," Wood notes.

This is where the tension starts to come into play. "If you look at how much effort she is making to have her face forward, and if you look at her lips in this video, you can see there's a moment where her lips press down hard and one eye goes up, where she's actually a little bit angry," says Wood. She continues that Gigi's body language reads as if "she's fighting against him but trying to keep her pretty, serene face."

Wood notes that, because Zayn is laughing in the Boomerang above, making the effort to get Gigi's kisses could just be a game to them, but of course, there's no way for us to know that for sure.

They've always had the ability to turn it on and off for the cameras.
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

When looking at this photo of the couple after the 2017 Met Gala, Brown notes that this could mark a low moment in the couple's relationship. "They're both sad together," she concludes. "That's no relationship anyone would want to be in!"

Wood notes that Zayn's entire body language, with his body collapsed inward, reads as "dejected, sad, and feeling a need to protect himself."

While he's collapsed inward, Gigi's entire body is almost completely straight up and down. "If you look at her head, you can see how it's pulled away from him," says Wood, which could signal she "doesn't want to be fully connected with him." She continues that their faces don't exactly spell out "in love" either. "It's as if they're coming from a funeral," she says.

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Just before the previous photo was taken, however, the couple took this seemingly loving photo on the red carpet, leading up to the Met Gala. Wood explains that, in the above photo, Gigi and Zayn were merely "turning it on" for the cameras.

In the picture of them leaving the event, you see them turned off. "What we saw in the [photo of them leaving] is that they've turned off, and they're spent from having been on," Wood says. But in this, particular photo of the two on the red carpet, you literally can see enough photographers in the background to recognize it as an "on moment."

Within their on moment, there's still plenty to be read based on their body language alone. Wood notes that the fact that Zayn's holding Gigi's hand and drawing it close to his crotch, which shows that he wants to be close to her sexually.

But, yet again, it doesn't seem that they are on the same page. While most of Gigi's body is straight up and down, Wood says, "Her upper body is actually pulled away slightly, and she has her elbow on the front of his body to keep him from getting any closer."

Another key thing to note here, according to Wood, is Gigi's hand. Rather than being cupped to his face, she keeps her fingers straight. "[This] means there is no tenderness to it," she says. "It's more for the camera. It's more ownership than connection."

That being said, Wood notes that there's still something deep looming in the couples' eyes. "When you go in closer and you look in their eyes and the contact in their eyes, they still have something," she says. "My intuition is [that] they still have it, but there's a struggle to have it. There's stuff going on underneath that makes it hard."

Perhaps being busy really did drive this couple apart, rather than a lack of love and respect between them. Living in the spotlight can't be easy.

Even though, hearts everywhere are broken over this news, here's to hoping Zayn and Gigi find true happiness moving forward.

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