n case you missed it, we’ve traveled back in time to 2002, an iconic era when Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were dating and starring in the critically-never-acclaimed-not-even-once film Gigli together. And by that I mean: Bennifer has staged a zombielike return from the ashes of their relationship, and they can’t stop making out on yachts and random street corners.
It’s all just frankly HAPPENING, and obviously no one is okay, not even close, but in order to fully understand how meaningful this reunion is, we have to go back. Back to the beginning. Because lest you forget, these two have a lot of history! Behold, a hefty timeline of Bennifer’s relationship—plus the relationships they’ve had in between—in reverse chronological order (so all the juiciest updates are at the top)!
Bennifer get engaged—again!!!!!!! Jen breaks the news in her newsletter that we’re all now subscribed to, On the JLo:
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And then Jen’s sister Lynda shares a glimpse at the ring on her Instagram Story:
So, what does J.Lo have to say about the proposal? Ahem: “Did you ever imagine your biggest dream could come true?” she writes (per CNN). “Saturday night while at my favorite place on earth (in the bubble bath), my beautiful love got on one knee and proposed. I was taken totally off guard and just looked in his eyes smiling and crying at the same time trying hard to get my head around the fact that after 20 years, this was happening all over again. I was quite literally speechless and he said, ‘Is that a yes?’ I said, ‘YES, of course that’s a YES.’”
In non-relationship news, Bennifer’s $50 million house falls out of escrow, so they once again start touring mansions in Los Angeles, as one does.
Ben and Jen buy a house together! And by “house,” we mean enormous $50 million mansion estate with four (!!) kitchens. The home is nestled in a quaint little area called Bel-Air (lol), and they will be blending their families in it since “the entire brood from both sides will be living there.”
Bennifer are spotted being cute at a Lakers game:
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez being the cutest couple pic.twitter.com/uKK7pb6anj
— bennifer tea (@jloaffleck) December 8, 2021
And they attend another movie premiere together!
Later in the month, J.Lo comes to Ben’s defense amid backlash for his interview about his ex Jennifer Garner. Shutting down reports that she was “pissed” about his comments, J.Lo told People, “This story is simply not true. It is not how I feel. I couldn’t have more respect for Ben as a father, a co-parent, and a person.”
Ben and Jen hit up the premiere of Ben’s new movie The Last Duel.
And later that month, they’re spotted trick-or-treating with Jennifer Garner.
Ben and Jen step out on their first official red carpet as a “new” couple, attending the 78th Venice International Film Festival!
A few days later, they make their Met Gala debut and this iconic/haunting photo happens:
Fresh off the glow of Bennifer’s Universal Studios trip with their kids and their Fourth of July Hamptons getaway, Jennifer is spilling the deets on just how great she’s doing at the moment! In an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, J.Lo says:
“I’m super happy…I know people are always wondering, How are you? What’s going on? Are you okay? This is it. I’ve never been better. And I want my people who care about me, because I care about them so much, to know that I’ve really gotten to a place in my life where I’m great on my own. And I think once you get to that place, then amazing things happen to you that you never imagine in your life happening again. And so that is where I’m at. And I love all the love that’s coming my way right now and all of the good wishes. And I just want everybody to know that it’s the best time. It’s the best time of my life.”
Meanwhile, Us Weekly reports that “Ben and Jen are spending almost every night together when they’re not working…they plan on moving in together very soon.” The source adds, “As far as Jen sees it, she and Ben have their whole lives now to set things up in a comfortable way. She intends to be an involved stepmom who’s there for Ben in that area, plus she’ll want him to make the same effort with her and Marc’s kids.”
But that’s not all—Jennifer and Ben go Instagram official on Leah Remini’s account:
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And THEN they go official on J.Lo’s account for her 52nd—with a kiss!
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Bennifer is still going strong, and Page Six publishes pics of them making out at dinner, which you can see right this way. Meanwhile, a source tells E! News that J.Lo “is packing up her Miami rental” and gearing up to head to L.A. with her twins to be near Ben.
“We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so. We will continue to work together and support each other on our shared businesses and projects. We wish the best for each other and one another’s children. Out of respect for them, the only other comment we have to say is thank you to everyone who has sent kind words and support.”
This same month, Ben compliments J.Lo for her May 2021 InStyle cover story, saying, “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.”
And then? Then things start HAPPENING. The exes are spotted out and about together, they take a trip to Montana, *and* TMZ reports that their ’ship has “been building since February” when Ben “started flooding her with emails” full of “loving and longing.” Emails! Like…okay!
Meanwhile, Page Six reports that Bennifer’s “public comeback romance” was supposed to happen in a “tightly controlled” way, but the paps ruined it. According to a source:
“He stayed at her house [in April], and she was planning to make an announcement that they are back together on Instagram. It’s all about timing with her. These are people who don’t like to be alone, and she really likes him. They have a long history there.”
Ana de Armas and Ben are done. “They have had numerous discussions about their future and they decided together to break up,” a source tells People, with another sourcing adding that the breakup is “mutual and something that is completely amicable. They are in different points in their lives; there is deep love and respect there.”
We’ll always have the memz!
Ben and Ana de Armas start dating after meeting on the set of Deep Water. They’re spotted vacationing in Cuba, and it’s clear they’re a couple when Ben slides into Ana’s comments asking for photo cred.
Ben tells the New York Times that J.Lo should have been nominated for her role in Hustlers, saying, “She should have been nominated. She’s the real thing. I keep in touch periodically with her and have a lot of respect for her. How awesome is it that she had her biggest hit movie at 50? That’s fucking baller.”
On past flame Jennifer Lopez … “She should have been nominated. She’s the real thing. I keep in touch periodically with her and have a lot of respect for her. How awesome is it that she had her biggest hit movie at 50? That’s fucking baller.”
— Brooks Barnes (@brooksbarnesNYT) February 20, 2020
That same month, he tells tells Diane Sawyer that in five years, “I would love to have a relationship that is deeply meaningful and one to which I could be deeply committed.…Five years from now, Ben Affleck is sober and happy and sees his kids three and a half days a week and has made three or four movies that are interesting to him. I directed two [movies] that he is hopefully proud of and is in a healthy, stable, loving, committed relationship.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 21, 2020
J.Lo and A-Rod get engaged with a truly enormous ring!
Ben and Jen Garner’s divorce is finalized, although they’d separated years earlier in June 2015. Around this time, Ben also splits from his girlfriend of a year, Lindsay Shookus (who was recently seen partying with A-Rod, just FYI!)
A-Rod and J.Lo start dating! A source tells People, “She seems excited. He has been around her family, and she really likes that he is a dad. She is aware, though, that he is a ladies’ man too and is being cautious. For now, it’s just fun. She is single and enjoys dating.”
Here’s him gushing:
J.Lo and Casper Smart part ways, with a source telling People, “The relationship had just run its course” and that they’d “hit a rough patch.”
J.Lo tells HuffPost Live she has “no regrets” about Ben Affleck, saying, “I would do it all over again, I think. I really would. Even the relationship part. I just feel like everything is part of your story and your journey and is meant to be and helps you grow if you’re willing to look at it, and I’m willing to look.”
However, she also says, “[Gigli] was a very badly reviewed film. I was in a high-profile relationship at the time that fell apart in a really bad way, and so the kind of mix of those two things and the tabloid press had just come into existence at the time, so I was like a poster child for that moment. I was in the tabloids every other week about how my life was falling apart. It was a tough time.”
J.Lo starts dating her backup dancer Casper Smart!
J.Lo and Marc Anthony announce their separation, and their divorce is eventually finalized a couple of years later in June 2014.
Ben and Jen Garner get married during a private ceremony in Turks and Caicos and go on to have three kids!
J.Lo starts up a relationship with her ex Marc Anthony and they get married in June—five months after her split from Ben. She later says in her book True Love that he “came back into my life three days after I should have been at the altar saying ‘I do’ to another man.” They go on to have two cute kids together.
Meanwhile, Ben Affleck starts dating Jennifer Garner (his costar in Daredevil!). Here they are flirting up a storm when Jen was married to Scott Foley and Ben was engaged to J.Lo.
Jen and Ben confirm their split with a simple statement from J.Lo’s rep that reads, “I am confirming the report that Jennifer Lopez has ended her engagement to Ben Affleck. At this difficult time, we ask that you respect her privacy.”
Just days before their wedding, Bennifer calls it off in a joint statement—citing the media frenzy surrounding them as the reason.
“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.”
The couple arrives at the premiere for Gigli. The vibes? Slightly awkward.
Ben proposes to Jennifer (for the first time!) with a ring that has been haunting me for more than a decade: a 6.1-carat pink solitaire. At the time, J.Lo tells Diane Sawyer that the proposal was “traditional but also in a very spectacular way, as of course Ben would do it…it was very, very beautiful.”
Jennifer and Ben fall for each other on the set of Gigli, which would go on to absolutely bomb at the box office. It was truly the best of times and the worst of times.