Strange Things About Ariel Winter's Relationship

Ariel Winter went from being a child star to a stunning adult in the blink of an eye, and with adulthood came a new wardrobe, a new physique, and a brand new relationship. When the Modern Family actress was spotted on vacation in Mexico with Canadian actor Levi Meaden in November 2016, fans were shocked by the couple's over 10-year age difference. But the duo's respective birth dates wouldn't be the only thing that raised eyebrows.

Their romance went from 0 to 100 real quick, and, every step of the way, the media has been there to pick apart every aspect of their relationship. However, Winter hasn't necessarily attempted to keep her private life to herself either. And whenever she spills all the juicy details about their relationship, it only puts the spotlight on how weird their romance really is. From his fake wedding proposal to their eccentric matching tattoos, here are all the strange things about Ariel Winter's relationship.

She wanted someone to look after her

Ariel Winter opened up to Maxim magazine about the real reason she decided to pursue a relationship with her much older boyfriend. "I needed somebody who had a lot of life experience and who was at a point in their lives that they could take care of another person, but where I didn't have to take care of them," she said.

Well, that certainly sounds like a one-sided relationship, but would that really be all that surprising? It's possible that Winter is still dealing with residual issues from her upbringing — particularly her strained relationship with her mom. 

A brief recap: The TV star claimed her mom had been emotionally and physically abusive, as reported by the BBC. Winter became an emancipated minor in May 2015 and, as such, was forced to grow up much faster than other children her age. "I've kind of been in adulthood for a little bit now," she told People magazine in January 2016.

We can't say for sure that her traumatic childhood caused her to cling to people who can give her the type of love and stability she may have missed out on as a kid, but it'd make sense if that were the case.

Totally twinning

Being in a relationship means being there for your partner in good times and in bad, and that's one thing we admire about Levi Meaden. He's solid as a rock, having always been by Ariel Winter's side no matter what! During one particular rough patch in her life, Meaden proved his love and dedication to her by presenting the actress with a very special gift.

She shared a photo of the present in a post on her Instagram account, along with the caption, "When your bf gets you matching jackets with your nicknames on them because you were having a sad day."

Winter's jacket had "Peanut Butter" embroidered on it, which just so happens to be Meaden's pet name for her. And Meaden's jacket read, "Cheese"— the Modern Family star's nickname for him (via Hello Giggles). 

They've officially turned into a super cute couple who dress alike, but their denim jackets aren't the only thing they have in common...

They have multiple matching tattoos

After less than a year of being an item, the smitten couple decided to celebrate their love with some matching ink in June 2017. Ariel Winter shared a picture of her hand next to Meaden's on her Snapchat, showing off their tattoos: two separate hearts that made one full heart when their hands are placed together (via Us Weekly). Winter captioned the photo, "Me n bae." Aww. Adorbs.

They also have coordinating finger tattoos, with Winter's being a slice of cheese on her ring finger and Meaden sporting a tub of peanut butter on his.

Meaden was later asked to explain the food-related pet names to Entertainment Tonight. "Well, I'm not sure how it came about, but she has 'Cheese' on her finger and she says, 'It's a messed-up sandwich that works,'" he said. "Peanut butter and cheese! Now, everyone thinks it doesn't, but if you try it — depending on the cheese — it's really good." Um, we're good. Thanks.

So, it'd appear that this duo didn't get the memo that most tattoos seem to outlast a celebrity's relationship. Still, despite us sounding cynical, we wish them the best.

Hello, cohabitation

After Ariel Winter purchased a brand new home in 2016, she didn't waste any time moving Levi Meaden into her humble abode. As they took their relationship to the next level, the Pacific Rim: Uprising star told Entertainment Tonight that "nothing" had changed once they decided to shack up. However, there was one thing that was noticeably different about their relationship dynamic. "Less fear, I guess. That's the only thing," he said.

Fans can interpret Meaden's words in so many ways. However, without Meaden elaborating on what he really meant by "less fear," it leaves us to speculate that maybe some portion of their relationship made him nervous, and his worries faded away as soon as the U-Haul unloaded his belongings at her doorstep.

Either way, his choice of words seems rather strange to us. But wait, things are about to get ten times wackier... 

Getting cheeky for the 'gram

As their love grows stronger and stronger, the pair seems more determined than ever to share their affection toward one another by any means necessary. One of the couple's favorite ways to show some PDA is by posting pictures on social media. And these aren't just any pictures. They're rather... inappropriate.

During the 2018 Fourth of July weekend, Ariel Winter, while attending a party in Malibu, Calif., posed in a cheeky romper while Levi Meaden grabbed a handful of her tush just as the camera snapped their photo. And in yet another risqué social media post (via Cosmopolitan), Meaden can be seen rubbing sunscreen all over Winter's butt! 

Clearly Meaden is a big fan of Winter's body — particularly her lower half. And though there's nothing wrong with Meaden getting handsy with his girlfriend, it doesn't mean the rest of the world wants to witness it. 

Get a room, please.

Will you marry me? JK!

With all the criticism surrounding Winter and Meaden's romance, most would suspect that the couple would go to great lengths to protect their relationship and shield it from the public eye. But au contraire — the more people talk about them, the more it seems like Winter and Meaden go to the extreme to garner attention. 

One such incident occurred when the pair was walking down the streets of Studio City, Calif. As paparazzi snapped their photos, which were later published by the Daily Mail, Meaden decided it was the perfect time to stage a prank.

He got down on one knee right in front of the cameras and took Winter's hand in his as if he were about to propose to her. To make things even more cringeworthy, both Winter and Meaden stared directly at the cameras right before this stunt, likely making sure that the photographers were getting the perfect shot.

Forever sparking controversy

Some publications have gone out of their way to spread vicious rumors about Ariel Winter and Levi Meaden. Star magazine, for example, reported that Winter paid Meaden a monthly stipend. "I would NEVER pay my boyfriend any sort of allowance, nor would he ever accept if I offered," Winter later refuted in a since-deleted Instagram post (via Page Six).

But that wasn't the only time their relationship was put under a microscope. When Winter was 19 and Meaden was 29, she revealed on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! that they were shacking up. "My boyfriend and I live together, and he cooks ... he takes care of all the handy stuff," she said.  "I can bake a pie occasionally."

As one could imagine, the public was outraged about the young star's living situation, and Winter clapped back during an exclusive interview with Refinery29. "I don't understand why someone would even comment on our situation at all," she told the publication. "There are tons of people of all ages that live with their boyfriend. There are tons of people that live with their girlfriends, [and] tons of people that don't live together and are super happy. But I'm super happy in the arrangement that we have. We love living together."

Rumors about their romance will likely only continue as the years go on, so long as Winter keeps on talking to the public about her romantic life. And we can't imagine that stopping anytime soon.