Two decades after, one of Hollywood’s most famous love stories started when Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck first met.
While the couple originally met in 2002, their turbulent relationship has been extensively tracked for the last 20 years – from when they first began dating to their revived romance in 2021.
The couple dated for two years, causing a media frenzy with their love, before splitting in 2004. Following their split, Lopez and Affleck explored other relationships and created their children.
Lopez was married to Marc Anthony from 2004 until 2014, and the couple had twin daughters, Max and Emme. Meanwhile, Affleck was married to Jennifer Garner from 2005 until 2018, and the couple has three children: daughters Violet and Seraphina, as well as son Samuel.
Lopez and Affleck were pictured together for the first time in almost a decade in April 2021, fueling dating suspicions. A few months later, they made their restored relationship public on Instagram.
Here’s a look at the couple’s relationship history throughout the last two decades.
Early 2002: Jennifer Lopez And Ben Affleck First Meet
Lopez and Affleck originally met during the production of their 2002 film Gigli, which was released the following year. Lopez was married to her second husband, Cris Judd, at the time. After the couple split in 2003, Lopez and Affleck made their relationship public soon.
“I felt like when I met Ben, ‘OK, this is it,” Lopez told in 2016.
The pair immediately rose to prominence in Hollywood and were among the first to be given a hybrid couple name: “Bennifer.”
November 2002: Jennifer Lopez And Ben Affleck Get Engaged
Lopez disclosed her engagement to Affleck in a November 2002 interview with Diane Sawyer, characterizing it as “romantic.” “Traditional, but done very, as Ben would do… It was very stunning.”
According to PEOPLE, Affleck proposed a custom-made Harry Winston pink-diamond solitaire ring that he picked himself.
Lopez characterized her then-fiancé to Sawyer in her interview as “brilliantly astute… Loving. Charming. Attractive, “Her mother agreed, she said.
“And I adore him in every way,” she said.
She also recognized that some people thought their relationship was odd, but she and the actor had connected over their similar upbringings.
“We’ve spoken about it so many times, and how people see him with… one sort of person and me with another type of person, and the two of us together is like, ‘How did that happen?'” she said.
“And how we’re probably more similar and from the same type of background… same kind of upbringing, same kind of family, same kind of home,” Lopez remarked.
Early 2003: Jennifer Lopez And Ben Affleck Face Tabloid Frenzy
Affleck and Lopez were among the most popular Hollywood couples in the tabloids in 2003, and the paparazzi notoriously pursued them.
Lopez even recognised their celebrity in her music video for “Jenny from the Block,” which included paparazzi photos of herself and Affleck doing everything from pumping gas to lazing on a boat together.
Lopez told PEOPLE in 2016: “We didn’t strive to have a public relationship.” “We happened to be together when the tabloids first appeared, and it was like, ‘Oh my God.’ It was simply too much pressure.”
Lopez’s media frenzy surrounding her relationship with Affleck is “simply ridiculous.”
“At least now I can show you a tiny piece of who I am,” she remarked. “Back then, you believed whatever you read on the front page of a tabloid. But, unfortunately, it wasn’t always true or just a third of the truth.”
In a January 2021 podcast interview, Affleck commented on how disrespectful the media was to Lopez while dating.
“People were nasty and racist against her. Ugly, horrible s—- was written about her in ways that, if published now, you would be fired for expressing such things, “he stated. “She’s now lionised and admired for the job she performed, where she came from, and what she achieved — and rightly so! Coming from the Bronx, I believe you have a higher chance of becoming a Supreme Court justice like [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor than you have of having Jennifer Lopez’s career and being who she is at 50 years old today.”
January 2004: Jennifer Lopez And Ben Affleck Breakup
The couple was supposed to marry in Santa Barbara in September 2003, but they cancelled the event only one day before.
“We have chosen to postpone the date due to the increased media attention around our wedding,” they announced in a statement. However, the couple added, “We noticed something was wrong when we found ourselves considering hiring three distinct ‘decoy brides’ in three different locales.”
“We started to suspect that the spirit of what should have been the best day of our life could have been jeopardised,” the statement added. The couple said, “We felt that what should have been a wonderful and important day for us, our families, and our friends may have been ruined.”
According to prior reports, the couple resumed their relationship after momentarily breaking up after the postponed wedding but formally called it quit in January 2004. The heavy media attention is often seen as a key cause of their split.
“Jennifer Lopez’s engagement to Ben Affleck has ended. “We ask that you respect her privacy at this difficult time,” Lopez’s spokesperson said, while Affleck’s rep added, “I am not going to confirm anything about his personal life.” We don’t want to get stuck in quicksand. Everyone desires a battle. It isn’t occurring from our end.”
In an interview in 2016, Lopez said that despite their divorce, she and Affleck had “real love.”
“I suppose other times, different things,” she added, “who knows what could’ve occurred, but there was a true love there.”
2015-2020: Jennifer Lopez And Ben Affleck Remain Friends
Lopez and Affleck remained friends in the years after their divorce.
Affleck expressed his support for Lopez’s acting career in 2020, stating she should have been nominated for an Oscar for her work in Hustlers.
“She deserved to be nominated. She’s the genuine deal, “Affleck told Brooks Barnes of the New York Times. “I remain in contact with her regularly and admire her. But isn’t it amazing that she got her best successful movie at 50? That’s some f—— baller.”
April 2021: Jennifer Lopez And Ben Affleck Rekindle Their Relationship
Lopez started spending time with Affleck in Los Angeles after her divorce from Alex Rodriguez in April 2021.
“They are close buddies. They had always been pals and had seen one other throughout the years. “According to a source,
According to another source, “They have a terrific time together. It’s been years since they finally caught up. They have a lot to discuss. They intend to hang out again.”
Less than a week later, the two were sighted together in Montana. According to PEOPLE, they were seen travelling in a vehicle together at a resort in Big Sky, Montana, where Affleck has a house.
“[Jennifer] spent many days out of town with Ben. They have a solid bond. A source said that everything had happened quickly and intensely, but Jennifer is content, “a source said.
July 2021: Jennifer Lopez And Ben Affleck Go Instagram Official
Lopez celebrated her 52nd birthday in July 2021 by posting a carousel of photographs on Instagram. The last photo in the compilation, mixed in with bikini and boat photos, showed Lopez and Affleck kissing.
This was the first time the pair publicly mentioned each other on social media.
September 2021: Jennifer Lopez And Ben Affleck Walk Their First Red Carpet Since Rekindling Their Romance
The team returned to the red carpet for the first time since reuniting at the Venice Film Festival in September 2021. It was a momentous night for both of them, but particularly for Affleck since it was the premiere of his new picture, The Last Duel.
Affleck and Lopez emulated Old Hollywood glamour as they walked the red carpet together in gorgeous ensembles. Affleck wore a traditional black tuxedo; while Lopez chose a white mermaid-style gown embellished with Swarovski crystals and accented with Cartier diamonds.
Later the same month, on September 13, the pair attended their first Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala. Affleck and Lopez looked stunning in Ralph Lauren, and they also enjoyed a passionate kiss while wearing masks.
October 2021: Jennifer Lopez And Ben Affleck Attend The Last Duel Premiere
The pair dressed up once again at the premiere of The Last Duel in New York City on October 9, 2021. Lopez and Affleck’s obsession with one other was evident during the event held at Lincoln Center; as the two couldn’t help but grin broadly at each other while posing for photos.
February 2022: Jennifer Lopez And Ben Affleck Attend The Marry Me Premiere
Lopez and Affleck continued their red carpet tour into the new year; attending the Marry Me premiere in Los Angeles on February 8, 2022. The singer, who also acts in the film, wore all white as a fun homage to the film’s love theme.
February 2022: Jennifer Lopez Opens Up About Ben Affleck Romance In PEOPLE’s Love Issue
Lopez spoke with PEOPLE for the 2022 Love Issue, where she opened up about the loves in her life; from her children to her renewed romance with Affleck.
“I feel very blessed, joyful, and pleased to be with him,” Lopez said of their restored relationship, adding, “It’s a great love tale that we got a second chance.”
March 2022: Ben Affleck Supports Jennifer Lopez At The IHeartRadio Music Awards
On March 22, as Lopez accepted the Icon Award at the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards; Affleck smiled proudly from the audience, flanked by their son Samuel, 10, and Lopez’s daughter Emme, 14.
Samuel and Emme were on opposing sides of the actor and gave Lopez a standing ovation. The three’s beautiful moment was recorded on Twitter by iHeartRadio, which said, “You knew #BenAffleck had to come out and support @JLo.”
February 2022: Jennifer Lopez And Ben Affleck Are Engaged (Again)!
Congratulations! Lopez’s spokeswoman confirmed to PEOPLE that the couple got engaged in April 2022. Lopez revealed the news in her On the JLo newsletter earlier this month after being pictured wearing what seemed to be an engagement ring.
She shared the joyful news with her close group in an email on April 8. Lopez’s greeting to fans featured a video of her admiring a large, green diamond on her ring finger; a picture of which was also posted on social media by her sister.
That same night, Lopez teased the “big news” with a video on Twitter. “So, I have a fascinating and unique tale to tell…” Lopez informed her fans. She also changed her Twitter account to a diamond ring emoji.