Back on bended knee! Josh Murray delivered his second reality-TV proposal when he popped the question to Amanda Stanton on Bachelor in Paradise's Tuesday, September 6, season 3 finale. Psychotherapist and relationship expert Rhonda Richards-Smith tells Us Weekly exclusively why his new speech suggests that things between him and the single mom will work out better than they did for his previous ABC-endorsed relationship.
Murray, 32, won Andi Dorfman's final rose in the Bachelorette season 10 finale that aired in July 2014, and he proposed by telling her, "I love you so much — I can't wait to start our lives together." The pair split in January 2015, and Dorfman, 29, slammed him in her recent book, It's Not Okay: Turning Heartbreak Into Happily Never After, which was a frequent topic of discussion this season on Paradise.
During his recent proposal to Stanton, 26, he told the Bachelor season 20 castoff, "I never really knew what true love was — I thought I did in the past, but I didn't — until I met you, and this is true love." He went on to say he will love her two daughters "as much as I love you."
Richards-Smith tells Us that his proposal to Dorfman suggests an emotional "disconnect" despite their "very strong physical connection." She says, "During the proposal to Andi, Josh appeared to be more preoccupied with how he was coming across to the public."
On the contrary, Richards-Smith finds Murray's demeanor during his new proposal to be quite promising about his fledgling romance with Stanton, judging in part by subconscious signals that he may have been sending.
"Josh's speech was very polished with Andi, while his proposal to Amanda appeared to be quite genuine and heartfelt," the expert says. "Josh shook his head 'no' repeatedly while professing his love to Andi but nodded his head 'yes' when he expresses his true love for Amanda."
"Josh seemed to assume a more dominant stance with Andi, with his displays of affection appearing to be somewhat overwhelming for her," she continues. "Andi and Josh seemed to struggle with keeping their gaze on one another throughout the proposal, while Amanda and Josh maintained solid eye contact and appear to have a stronger emotional connection overall."
Murray's body language during the proposal wasn't the only bad omen, according to Richards-Smith, who points out that Dorfman "leaned away from Josh repeatedly during the proposal, which can be an indicator that someone is in need of both physical and emotional space." Smith also picks up from Dorfman's subtle facial expressions that she was "very hesitant about the future of their relationship."
"By tipping her head back, frowning and pursing her lips, Andi may have felt somewhat conflicted and doubtful about the proposal from the start," the couples counselor says. "Andi's demeanor during the proposal suggested that she may have been fearful of being hurt by Josh over the long haul."
Of course, early-relationship promise can only take a couple so far. Richards-Smith adds, "Amanda and Josh appear to have strong feelings for each other — however, the success of their relationship will depend on their commitment to one another and their ability to carry over the love they found in paradise to the real world."
Tell Us: Which proposal do you prefer?
To read more about relationship expert Rhonda Richards-Smith, click here.
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