Long before J-Rod, there was Bennifer. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck famously dated and were engaged in the early ’00s. The couple, dubbed Bennifer, shared the screen in Gigli, Jersey Girl and the actor even made an appearance in the singer’s “Jenny from the Block” music video!
“He is brilliantly smart. Loving. Charming. Affectionate and I just admire him in every way. I respect him. I feel like he teaches me things,” Lopez once said of Affleck, who called his then-fiancée a “graceful beauty with an artists’ soul who has made me an extremely happy man.”
While the pair parted ways nearly two decades ago, it seems Lopez has circled the block. The famous (single again!) exes have been spending time together since Lopez and her fiancé Alex Rodriguez split in April of2021. For a while, it was being reported that the duo were just friends, but as of July 2021, the heat is definitely on again. Keep reading as we take a look at Bennifer’s romance, then and now.
Are Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez Instagram official?
As of July 2021, all signs point to yes! J-Lo celebrated her 52nd birthday on July 24 by posting a series of seriously hot bikini pics on Instagram—plus an even steamier shot of her and the 48-year-old Affleck locking lips on a yacht. Talk about “I’m Into You!”
How did Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez meet?
Lopez and Affleck met on the set of their movie Gigli, which came out in 2003. Asked when they fell in love, The Wedding Planner actress told Pat O’Brien in 2003, “You can’t pinpoint it. We became friends first. That is the honest to God truth.”
Lopez admitted to Diane Sawyer in 2002, that she and Affleck had the same kind of upbringing. She said, “We’ve talked about how people kind of see him with one type of person and me with another type of person, and the two of us together is like ‘How did that happen?’ and how we’re probably more alike and from the same kind of background and, you know, same kind of upbringing and same kind of family and same kind of house and all that kind of stuff.”
Affleck had not only won Lopez over, but also her mother. “My mother loves Ben. She loves him,” the “Let’s Get Loud” singer shared. “I even told him, I was like, ‘Look she never really likes anyone I’m with so be prepared,’ and he was like ‘Okay,’ but he won her over, in true Affleck fashion.”
When did Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez get engaged?
Lopez confirmed her engagement to the Good Will Hunting star during an interview with Sawyer that aired in November of 2002. “Are you engaged?” Sawyer asked, to which Lopez replied, “Yes.”
Recalling the proposal, the actress revealed that Affleck took her back to the house he grew up in. “He opens the door and it is just a blanket, a quilt of rose petals all over the whole entire house,” she said. “So many candles and vases with bouquets and my song “Glad” was playing and I walk in and I’m just like overwhelmed like I wasn’t expecting it.”
“I was just like ‘Oh my God’ and then I kept thinking, I was like how did he do this because we were in Philadelphia working. I was like, ‘Who did this?’ and he was like, ‘My mom helped me do it’ and I just started sobbing, crying,” Lopez continued. “It was the best day of my life.”
Prior to the Gone Girl actor, Lopez was married to Ojani Noa and Cris Judd, whom she filed for divorce from in July of 2002. The performer confessed to Swayer that her feelings for Affleck were “totally different than anything” she’d experienced.
J.Lo’s engagement ring!
Affleck popped the question with a pink diamond engagement ring reportedly from Harry Winston. “It’s the most magnificent thing I’ve ever seen,” Lopez told Swayer of her ring. “[Affleck] was like I just wanted you to have something that nobody else would have.”
What happened to Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s wedding?
Days before walking down the aisle in September of 2003, Lopez and Affleck decided to postpone their wedding. “Due to the excessive media attention surrounding our wedding, we have decided to postpone the date,” the Jersey Girl costars said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE at the time. “When we found ourselves seriously contemplating hiring three separate ‘decoy brides’ at three different locations, we realized that something was awry.
“We began to feel that the spirit of what should have been the happiest day of our lives could be compromised,” Lopez and Affleck added. “We felt what should have been a joyful and sacred day could be spoiled for us, our families and our friends.”
Per Vice, Lopez revealed during her and Affleck’s 2003 Dateline interview that she planned on changing her name to “Jennifer Affleck” after their wedding.
When did Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez break up?
The couple officially split in January of 2004. “We didn’t try to have a public relationship,” Lopez admitted in a 2016 interview with Jess Cagle. “We just happened to be together at the birth of the tabloids, and we were kind of the hot couple at the time and we may have played into that in the beginning because it was fun and then it was not fun. Then it was like destroying us.” Lopez noted, “it was just a lot of pressure.”
What has Jennifer Lopez said about her breakup from Ben Affleck?
Lopez told Maria Shriver (via Us Weekly) in 2014 that Affleck was her “first big heartbreak.” According to the New York Daily News, the Hustlers star wrote in her memoir, True Love, that it felt like her “heart had been torn out of” her chest after her split from Affleck.
Although they never made it to the altar, Lopez has said there was “genuine love” between her and the Justice League actor. She previously told PEOPLE, “I think different time different thing, who knows what could’ve happened, but there was a genuine love there.”
Did Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez keep in touch post-split?
In 2020, Affleck revealed to New York Times reporter Brooks Barnes that he keeps “in touch periodically with” his ex-fiancée.
What’s going on with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in 2021? Are they getting back together?!
Following Lopez’s split from former New York Yankees player A-Rod, sources told Page Six that the mom of two and Affleck, ironically a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, have been spending time together in Los Angeles. The outlet reported that the dad of three has been spotted going to J.Lo’s home during the day. “Security picks him up at a nearby location and drops him off after spending a few hours at her house,” a source told Page Six, though an insider said, “They are friends…they’ve never not been.”
Meanwhile, a source told PEOPLE that Affleck and Lopez “have a lot of love for each other. They have always admired each other.”
Prior to their reunion, Affleck, who split from girlfriend Ana de Armas in 2021, praised Lopez in an interview for her InStyle May 2021 cover. “I thought I had a good work ethic, but I was completely humbled and blown away by what she was committed to doing day in and day out, the seriousness in which she took her work, the quiet and dedicated way she went about accomplishing her goals, and then how she would go back and redouble her efforts,” he said. “She remains, to this day, the hardest-working person I’ve come across in this business. She has great talent, but she has also worked very hard for her success, and I’m so happy for her that she seems, at long last, to be getting the credit she deserves.”
The Way Back star also joked, “Where are you keeping the fountain of youth? Why do you look the same as you did in 2003 and it kind of looks like I’m in my 40s…at best?” In her response, Lopez said, “Ben is funny! He still looks pretty good too.”