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The couple dated for 18 months before suddenly splitting in 2004. Now, they're back together and making red carpet appearances.
Here's everything there is to know about their relationship, from their old breakup to their recent reunion.
In the past few months, they've been spotted crisscrossing the globe taking surprise vacations after Jennifer announced the end of her engagement to Alex Rodriguez. Now, it looks like things are getting even more serious as the couple is “starting to talk about the future,” per People. Sources are throwing around words like "soul mates."
But why did Jen and Ben break up in the first place? J.Lo and Ben have a long history, so there's a lot to discuss. Between their first year and a half together that happened two decades ago and their relatively new second fling starting up again now, well... it's complicated, to say the least.
So whether you loved them together in the early 2000s or never even knew they dated, now is the time to brush up on your Bennifer knowledge. From the early days to the latest, here's Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's full relationship timeline.
December 2001: Ben and Jennifer meet.
The pair first met on the set of their movie, Gigli. While the movie bombed at the box office, their relationship took off quickly. According to Us, J.Lo was married to her second husband, Cris Judd, but she filed for divorce shortly after she met Ben.
November 2002: Bennifer gets engaged.
Ben proposed to Jennifer with a 6.1 carat pink diamond ring, per Cosmopolitan. Talk about a rock! A ring that stunning was sure to lead to an over-the-top wedding, and as planning for the big day began, the paparazzi were all over the happy couple.
September 2003: The pair calls off their wedding.
Just days before the ceremony, they postponed their wedding because of the intense media frenzy. In response to shocked fans and stunned friends, the couple released a brief statement, per ABC: "Due to the excessive media attention surrounding our wedding, we have decided to postpone the date," the two said. "When we found ourselves seriously contemplating hiring three separate 'decoy brides' at three different locations, we realized that something was awry." Then, just a few short months later, Bennifer officially split.
J.Lo and Ben weren't very public about their reasons for breaking up, only asking for privacy during the separation process.
2008–2020: Ben And J.Lo go public about their split.
A few years later, in 2008, Ben opened up about the breakup on the British TV show Live. "I think Jen and I made a mistake in that we fell in love, we were excited and maybe too accessible," he clarified. "I don't think either of us anticipated the degree to which it would take on a world of its own."
Flash forward to 2016, when Jennifer told Jess Cagle on The Jess Cagle Interview that she thought the media attention affected her and Ben's relationship. She also admitted that "there was a genuine love there," which caused some speculation from fans.
May 13, 2021: Bennifer 2.0 takes off.
In May, rumors about a Bennifer 2.0 were flying. After J.Lo split from Alex Rodriguez, she was spotted out and about with Ben again, prompting speculation about a new relationship. Then, after the pair vacationed together in Montana, things looked more serious.
By May 13, Jennifer was open to the idea of getting back together with Ben, per People. And Entertainment Tonight reports that the pair are "are having fun together" after reconnecting all these years later.
May 24, 2021: The couple works out together.
And what better place to have fun than at the gym? One source told Entertainment Tonight that Bennifer "shared a kiss in between sets" at Anatomy Fitness in Miami at the end of May. "They stayed close to each other while working out and were hugging, being playful together, and shared a kiss in between sets," the source said. "It was clear to everyone that they have intense chemistry and were having fun together."
The source also mentioned that Ben was supporting Jennifer's workouts, which are an important part of her daily routine. "It seemed like Ben really wanted to be there too with her," they said.
Another insider told E! that this time, Ben is really putting in the extra time to make Bennifer last. “Ben has been making the effort to make it work with their schedules,” the source said. “J.Lo thinks Ben has really stepped up and loves this version of him. It’s comforting to her and she is smitten. They are giddy together and you can tell she’s really happy.”
May 31, 2021: The couple shacks up and enjoys romantic dinner dates out.
Going into June, Ben stayed in a house in Miami rented by Jennifer, and they were spotted several times lounging on the balcony together.
J.Lo rented the place for $130,000 a month from jewelry designer Paul Morelli, who originally bought it for $17.5 million (yes, really!), according to the New York Post. The massive 11 bedroom, 15 bathroom mansion sits on a 27,000 square foot oceanfront lot and boasts a pool, a spa, and a jacuzzi. Not too shabby.
Then, the two were spotted getting cozy together on a romantic dinner date at Wolfgang Puck's new restaurant in the Pendry hotel in Los Angeles, Page Six reported. (Ben drove, in case you're curious.) Despite their cross-country relationship, Ben and J.Lo still found plenty of time for themselves.
"They are very happy together," an inside source told People. "This is not a casual relationship. They are taking it seriously and want it to be long-lasting."
June 7: J.Lo and Ben tell friends they’re official.
Next up on Bennifer’s back together to-do list: Announce the news to friends. “J.Lo and Ben are very much a couple and have been telling friends that they’re together,” a source told ET. “When they first reconnected, they had to see if the spark was still there because it had been a while. It was, so now they are both fully in it.”
The pair have been working on their relationship, too. They “talked about the past and why things didn’t work out,” the source said. “They have both matured and are on the same page and it has been easy.”
The source says Jen and Ben really are a different couple now. “Jen is elated and really trusts Ben. Ben is more traditional and low-key in his values and Jen is into that,” they said. “She likes that they can go on dates and have fun. She also thinks that Ben is extremely smart and has a lot of great input.”
June 9: J.Lo makes a cross-country move for Ben.
Jennifer quickly decided to relocate to Los Angeles with Ben for a “fresh start,” E! News reports. “She will be between L.A. and the Hamptons this summer, but L.A. will be her base,” a source said. “She is looking at schools for her kids in the fall.”
No news yet on how the house-hunting is going, but one Selling Sunset realtor offered to help them start looking. “Jenny call me if you need a realtor 😜🙋🏻♀️,” Chrishell Stause commented on one of J.Lo’s recent Instagram posts. Maybe that massive, $40 million mansion won’t be empty for long?
Another source told Us Weekly that the move seems like a natural next step for the couple: “They love being together and the weekends away they had been spending together have really sealed the deal,” the insider said. “Friends say they can see them staying together forever this time around. They are soulmates and always have been.”
June 9: Ben spends quality time with J.Lo's mom in Las Vegas.
In early June, Ben got a special visit from Jennifer’s 75-year-old mom, Guadalupe Rodriguez, while filming a new project in Las Vegas. The two were spotted chatting at the Wynn resort and casino between takes, Entertainment Tonight reports.
“Guadalupe loves Ben and is happy that he is back in Jennifer’s life,” a source told E! News. “They enjoy gambling together and have done it in the past. Ben had the opportunity to work in Vegas this week and she came out.” Sounds like Guadalupe is betting on Bennifer 2.0’s success!
June 14: The duo enjoy romantic dinner dates in Malibu and L.A.
Looks like family dinners might be the new normal for Ben and Jen: The couple went out to Nobu in Malibu to celebrate her sister Lynda’s birthday, a source told Entertainment Tonight.
“Jen and Ben sat next to each other and were very affectionate. They held hands under the table,” a source told People.“They had a great time at the dinner celebration,” the ET source said–so great that the two celebrated with a kiss, Page Six reports. Adorable!
J.Lo’s twins, Emme and Maximilian, were also at the table. “Ben and her kids seemed comfortable together,” a source told People.“The kids kept chatting with Ben. Ben seemed great. He was smiling and laughing. They ordered a lot of food to share. Ben had a Diet Coke.”
A week and a half later, the happy couple shared Mediterranean food at Avra Beverly Hills Estiatorio in a private room for two hours, per People. "Jen looked amazing," a source said. "They were both in a great mood. Ben always looks very happy when he is with Jen."
The pair looked over the moon happy in photos getting into a car together on their way out of the restaurant. J.Lo was all smiles. It's no surprise J.Lo "spends as much time with Ben as possible," another source told People.
"Jen and Ben have been all over each other and can’t seem to get enough—all day, every day,” a third source told Us Weekly. “Their chemistry is off the charts.”
July 5: J.Lo gushes about her life on some podcasts.
Jennifer dropped the mic the other day after gushing about how happy she is on The Zane Lowe Show: "I’ve never been better," she said. "I’ve really gotten to a place in my life where I'm great on my own."
"Once you get to that place, then amazing things happen to you that you never imagine in your life happening again," she continued. "I love all the love that’s coming my way right now and all of the good wishes...It’s the best time of my life."
J.Lo explained that she's been on cloud nine lately. "I love the person that I am continually kind of evolving into and becoming," she said. "That kind of joy, that kind of happiness, that kind of love always inspires me. I think some people really get inspired when they’re heartbroken." Can't help but wonder how much of her new happiness is from her beau Ben.
July 25: The couple makes it Instagram official.
Finally, J.Lo took to Instagram to make Bennifer 2.0 official. No more speculating, folks—she's here to set the record straight. In a post for her 52nd birthday, Jennifer shared a photo of her and Ben mid-makeout sesh while on vacation in St. Tropez. She captioned her post, "5 2 … what it do …💗"
Fans were floored. "I mean, if you’re going to Instagram official do it like @jlo," one comment read. "Love 👏 To 👏 See 👏 It 👏," someone else wrote (same!).
The couple are reportedly "madly in love" and "the loves of each other's lives," a source told People. "Even though their split many years ago was devastating for Jennifer, she has never had a bad word to say about Ben," a second source added. "She believes that it just wasn't meant to be then and feels like they've been given a second chance."
July 25: Fans break out their best Bennifer theories.
Other fans noticed that the picture frame off to the side in J.Lo's first pic looks suspiciously similar to an old photo of her and Ben on a motorcycle from the early 2000s. "Look what Easter egg I spotted," a fan tweeted:
— Christopher Villegas (@ChrisVillegas88) July 24, 2021
Another fan posted a Bennifer conspiracy theory on Instagram explaining that the couple "are giving us a shot-for-shot remake of her iconic video for “Jenny from the Block” for the song’s upcoming 20th anniversary." The evidence is pretty convincing (see for yourself!):
August: Ben and Jen go everywhere together.
Ever since the end of July, Ben and J.Lo have become basically inseparable. First, the two escaped to a romantic getaway in Capri, Italy, where they went jewelry shopping. Although Jennifer didn't make any purchases, she showed off her "Ben" necklace while walking through Portofino just a few days later, per TMZ.
Then, the pair were spotted wandering along a Malibu beach with Ben's BFF, Matt Damon.
"He's the best. He deserves every happiness in the world," Matt told Extra. "I'm glad for both of them." Soon after, Ben visited Jennifer on the set of her latest project in L.A. No word on what J.Lo was filming, but Ben hung out there for hours with an earpiece in so he could hear her, per Page Six.
Later that night, Ben and Jennifer took J.Lo's daughter Emme out to dinner at Craig's in West Hollywood, per People. A source said that J.Lo's teenaged twins are more than ready to start over in L.A. with Ben.
"They are slowly getting to know Ben," they told People. "Everything seems to be running smoothly. It's very obvious that Jennifer is serious about Ben. She hasn't looked this happy for a long time."
Oh, and the couple is looking at houses in Beverly Hills, per Entertainment Tonight. The most recent mansion they toured had a whopping price tag of $85 million, complete with enough room to park 80 cars. "They couldn't be more in agreement. They feel at this point in their lives they were undeniably made for each other," a source told ET.
Sept. 10: Ben and J.Lo make their red carpet debut at the Venice Film Festival.
Jen joined Ben at his premiere for his film, The Last Duel, at the Venice International Film Festival. The photos show a glowing Bennifer walking the red carpet together and holding hands.
They snuggled in close for photographers, too.
J.Lo could not stop smiling.
They didn't just hold hands, either.
Dec. 1: Ben gushes about their 'beautiful' relationship.
Ben is "grateful" for his relationship with Jen, the actor revealed to The Wall Street Journal. But he's not spilling how he and J.Lo rekindled their romance just yet: “I can say that it’s definitely beautiful to me,” he said. “And, you know, one of the things I really value across all facets of my life now is that it was handled in a way that reflected that.”
“It’s a good story. It’s a great story. And, you know, maybe one day I’ll tell it,” Ben added. “I’ll write it all out… and then I’ll light it on fire.”
He also reflected on being given a "second chance" with Jen. “Life is difficult, and we are always failing and hopefully learning from those failures,” Ben said. “The one thing you really need to avail yourself of the opportunities provided from that growth is the second chance.”
Now, Ben says he's become “not just the person that I want to be, but the person that I really feel like I am,” since getting back together with Jen. “Which is not perfect, but somebody who tries very hard and cares very much about being honest and authentic and accountable,” he continued. “It’s hard to say who benefits more, without going into gossipy detail.” (Aw!)
Bennifer is looking stronger than ever—and good for them. They deserve it!
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