If you’re not familiar with the whole story, we cast our eyes back to 2001 when the pair first met. From here, we’ve covered all the major events over the last 17 years to catch you up to speed. It starts with a movie set meeting in 2002 and ends with a vacation in Montana in 2021. Here’s everything you need to know about Bennifer.
1. Meeting On A Movie Set
Ben and JLo met on the set of a movie called Gigli in 2002. At this point they were both rising stars in their own right and Jennifer was married to her second husband, Cris Judd.
Unfortunately, the movie bombed at the box office but the sparks between the two were undeniable. Jennifer’s divorce from Cris was finalised in the same year and it wasn’t long before she and Ben went public with their relationship.
JLo spoke to People where she reminisced on her first encounter with Ben, "I felt like… 'Okay, this is it.'"
2. 'Bennifer' Is Born
Unsurprisingly, the world collectively lost its mind when the couple went official. Their high-profile relationship sparked widespread media coverage, leading to the creation of their celebrity couple name, Bennifer.
The pair went on to make their first red carpet debut in December 2002, at the premiere of Lopez's film Maid in Manhattan.
3. The 'Jenny From The Block' Music Video
This iconic music video has gone down in popular culture history, and it’s not hard to see why. Filmed in October 2002, the video featured a range of steamy shots of JLo in a pink bikini and Affleck in a white tank. The pair were seen canoodling on a yacht together and also addressed the paparazzi frenzy they had been experiencing.
The video made a few digs toward the tabloid frenzy, including surveillance footage and pap photos. In later interviews, JLo has admitted the media frenzy did put a strain on their relationship, amongst other things. Despite all this, she maintains there was genuine love between them.
"We didn't try to have a public relationship," Lopez told People in 2016. "We just happened to be together at the birth of the tabloids, and it was like 'Oh my God.' It was just a lot of pressure."
4. The Engagement
Nobody can forget the spectacular pink engagement ring JLo debuted following the announcement of her engagement to Affleck. The singer confirmed the exciting news in an exclusive interview with Diane Sawyer in November 2002, saying, "It's the most magnificent thing I've ever seen." In this same interview, she gushed over her then-fiancé, describing him as "brilliantly smart … Loving. Charming. Affectionate.”
The 6.1-carat pink diamond reportedly cost Affleck $2.5 million and was made by esteemed American jeweller Harry Winston.
To the surprise of everyone, just two days before the couple were set to tie the knot in September 2003, they released a joint media statement announcing the postponement of their nuptials.
“Due to the excessive media attention surrounding our wedding, we have decided to postpone the date. 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. We felt what should have been a joyful and sacred day could be spoiled for us, our families and our friends.”
5. The Break Up
By January 2004 (and to the devastation of everyone), the couple were officially over. The two ended their engagement, with JLo confirming the sad news through her spokesperson.
"I am confirming the report that Jennifer Lopez has ended her engagement to Ben Affleck," the statement read. "At this difficult time, we ask that you respect her privacy."
Come September 2004, JLo married singer-songwriter and longtime friend Marc Anthony. The couple welcomed twins in 2008, daughter Emme Muñiz and son Max Muñiz. In 2014, the couple made the decision to separate.
In her 2014 book titled True Love, JLo reflected on this period in her life, hinting that it may have been an attempt to recover from her breakup with Affleck.
"Thinking back, maybe deep down I knew that this was a Band-Aid on the cut, that my wound hadn't been stitched or healed," she wrote. "But I pushed all that to the back of my mind. Because life takes unpredictable twists and turns, right? And you've just got to go with what you feel is best in the moment."
As for Affleck, he went on to marry fellow actor Jennifer Garner in 2005, welcoming three children over the years daughters Violet and Seraphina Affleck, and son Samuel Affleck. The couple divorced in 2018.
6. New Rumours
Now, in 2021, it seems the pair aren’t quite finished with each other yet, with the latest rumours swirling in April of this year. After JLo announced the end of her engagement to Alex Rodriguez and Ben Affleck split from Ana de Armas, they both found themselves single at the same time.
It didn’t take long before the pair were spotted hanging out, with Page Six reporting that Affleck was seen visiting JLo’s LA home multiple times. Now, nearly two decades after calling it quits, the pair departed on a weeklong vacation to Montana following their appearances at Global Citizen's Vax Live benefit concert.
An insider reported to E! News that the two stars have kept in touch over the years and maintained a friendly relationship.
"They have been in touch here and there throughout the years. Ben reached out to her to see how she was doing and they had dinner together a few times within this last month. It's natural between them and the chemistry is unreal. They picked up where they last left off and are enjoying each other's company right now" the source said.
While there’s yet to be any official confirmation, it seems a rekindling could definitely be on the cards. JLo and Affleck have certainly reignited our global obsession with their relationship, proving that even with the passing of time, some things never change.