Luke Benward packed on the loving sentiments in his birthday shout-outs for his friend-turned-lover, Ariel Winter! In both pictures, the actors couldn’t keep their hands off one another.
There are no PDA photos of Ariel Winter and Luke Benward on one another’s Instagram pages, but Ariel’s 22nd birthday called for a special exception! In honor of Ariel’s big day on Jan. 28, Luke, 24, shared two photos of him getting cozy with his sweetheart. In his first Instagram Story post, Luke and Ariel have their arms affectionately wrapped around each other on the beach. “Happy Birthday Bunny!!!!!!” Luke wrote over the sweet snapshot. The Dumplin’ star turned up the romance in the next post, which showed the lovers gazing deep into one another’s eyes at a 2019 New Year’s Eve party. “You’re a dream 😊❤,” Luke wrote, reflecting how he must’ve felt in that intimate picture!
Ariel returned the love with a surplus of romantic emojis and GIFs; we’re talking hearts, mushy faces and an animated picture of Lady and the Tramp. The Modern Family star edited the cutesy images into Luke’s pictures, which she reposted on her own Instagram Story. Luke’s public birthday shout-outs (and Ariel’s positive reaction towards them) just goes to show how this romance is getting more and more serious.
“Luke and Ariel have been close friends and running in the same squad since at least late 2016/early 2017. When they were spotted out in October during that dinner date in Studio City, things were not serious but that has changed dramatically over the past two months,” a source had EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife at the beginning of 2020, just over three weeks before Ariel’s birthday. Although Luke didn’t hide his romance with Ariel on his Instagram Story, our source told us that they “haven’t had ‘the talk’ about being official,” but “it’s pretty much assumed because neither one is dating anybody else and they spend almost all their free time together.”
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Levi Meaden, 32, was silent on Instagram on Ariel’s birthday. After dating for three years, they “quietly split at the end of August” in 2019, a source close to Ariel and Levi had EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife. By the end of that year, it appeared that Ariel and Luke were taking their friendship to the next level!
Most recently, an eyewitness spotted the new lovebirds at the Spotify Pre-Grammy Awards party on Jan. 23. “They stood next to the stage watching the performances, and Luke had his arms wrapped around Ariel the whole time,” the eyewitness told us. “They were kissing at one point and didn’t seem to care who was watching. They were just enjoying themselves and seemed very happy to be there together.”