Sorry, But I Hate The Jennifer Lopez And Ben Affleck Reunion

'The noughties nostalgia just isn't enough to convince me that Ben Affleck deserves to date J. Lo'

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

Today, it seems like all the world can talk about is the Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck reunion. After being pictured on holiday together in Montana, everyone on social media is lavishing in the noughties nostalgia of Bennifer potentially reuniting. Except, and I say this with caution… me.

Okay, so I’m not the only one, there are quite a few of us side-eyeing this reunion – but among a sea of people gagging for the former Hollywood power couple to get back together, we’re few and far between.

Now, I have to confess, I was only nine when Bennifer broke-up, so maybe I’m entirely unqualified to understand the sheer velocity of this occasion. But, as someone who has most definitely kept up with the power couples of the noughties and analysed celebrity culture within an inch of its life, the idea of J. Lo going back to Ben Affleck just doesn’t sit right with me.

This is where my relative ignorance of their tabloid fame comes in handy: I’ve only known J. Lo as the incredible, multi-talented woman she is today. The two-time Grammy and Golden Globe nominated performer with a business empire that has made her one of America’s wealthiest self-made women (her net worth is $150million, if you were wondering). To me, she’s the type of woman that moves through her life with a confidence and power that means all her exes are lining up to rekindle that flame, should they ever be so lucky to get the chance.

On the flip side, I’ve also only known Ben Affleck as the man it was reported had cheated on Jennifer Garner with the nanny, put her through hell and back and then essentially re-enacted his entire life as that infuriating husband in Gone Girl (minus the murder mystery, of course). Oh, and we can’t forget the two women that alleged he assaulted them during the #MeToo movement, including actor Hillarie Burton whom he apologised to, plus the allegations that he was well aware of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct for years. Then there's this disgusting 2006 interview...

To me, Ben Affleck is that guy that consistently causes harm to the women close to him, they stick by him because much of his personal struggles he can’t help, and he later gushes about them in the press – often talking about how much he regrets causing them harm – until everyone forgets how awful he truly was.

Of course, he’s talented and accomplished in acting, there’s no denying that – but even without all of the dodgy behaviour, comparing his talent and date-worthiness to THE J. Lo? I just don’t think we’re playing in the same league here.

So, you can see where we have trouble.

Going back to your toxic first love is great for rebound sex, but it's not the real deal.

Personally, J. Lo going back to Ben Affleck feels like when you return to that toxic first love because you’ve never quite felt a spark like it since. You forget, for a time, that you only felt that way because it was the first time experiencing actual love, that rush of Oxytocin that makes you forget anyone else exists and forgive every red flag. Going back to that ex, the sex is surely great, and they’re perfect for a rebound – something J. Lo would likely lavish in right now after so much A. Rod drama - but if we’re talking about returning to the glory days of 6.1 carat pink diamonds and promises of love forever, it’s absolutely not ideal.

17 years on, it would be easy to look back on a love like Bennifer’s with rose-tinted glasses – especially since you would hope Ben had, you know, emotionally evolved since then. In fact, J. Lo has implied before, 12 years after the breakup, that she thought Ben was very much her ‘right person, wrong time’ relationship.

‘We didn’t try to have a public relationship,’ she told People in March 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. I think different time, different thing, who knows what could’ve happened? But there was a genuine love there.’

But at the same time, she’s referred to the relationship as ‘self-destructive’ and detailed losing her sense of self throughout the relationship. In her memoir True Love, she recalled how Ben ‘crushed her soul’ when he pulled out of the 2003 wedding she’d taken so much time to plan – and how she hit ‘rock bottom’ when she found out he was dating Garner a few months later.

So, is it really right person wrong time then, or was their relationship just suitably toxic? Near 20 years on, we can trust J. Lo is well-versed enough in dating to know herself, of course, but it’s also knowing how much both she and Ben hated the tabloid fame around their relationship that makes this obsession with them getting back together feel uneasy.

Put simply, I hope J. Lo is having a whale of a time. I hope they’re having incredible throwback ex sex and reliving all their wildest memories together. But I also hope that it’s not that serious, that she doesn’t become yet another woman that hopes to save Ben from his own demons, because not only is that NOT her job, but it’s also not something any woman can do – not even THE J.Lo.

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Click through for a look back at Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's Complete Relationship Timeline

Gallery

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's Relationship Timeline - Grazia

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's Complete Relationship Timeline1 of 19
CREDIT: Getty

December 2001

Ben and Jen meet for the first time on the set of Gigli. The film performs....not well, shall we say, but it brought us Bennifer so it's not all bad.

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CREDIT: Getty

July 2002

Months later, Jennifer files for divorce from her then-husband, Cris Judd, citing 'irreconcilable differences.' The statement from their lawyers read, 'Jennifer Lopez and Cris Judd have announced they have resolved all issues arising out of their marriage. The resolution was extremely amicable...The two will remain friends.'

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CREDIT: Getty

September 2002

In the autumn of 2002, Ben and Jen begin filming their next movie together, Jersey Girl.

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CREDIT: Getty

November 2002

Then, in November, Ben proposed to JLo with a pink-diamond solitaire chosen by himself and custom-made by Harry Winston. Speaking to Diane Sawyer, Jen said the proposal was 'traditional, but also in a very spectacular way, as of course Ben would do it…it was very, very beautiful.'

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November 2002

Also in November 2002, Ben starred in the music video for JLo's Jenny from the Block. In 2008, though, Ben came out to sayhe regretted being in the music video: 'If I have a regret, it was doing the music video. But that happened years ago. I've moved on...It not only makes me look like a petulant fool, but it surely qualifies as ungentlemanly?'

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CREDIT: Getty

December 2002

The couple make their first red carpet appearance together at the premiere of Maid in Manhattan.

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CREDIT: Getty

September 2003

Days before their wedding was scheduled to go ahead, the couple called off the ceremony, releasing a joint statement that said, '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 realised 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.'

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CREDIT: Getty

January 2004

Then, in January 2004, a spokesperson for Jennifer Lopez released a statementconfirming Bennifer was no more: '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.'

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CREDIT: Getty

June 2004

In June 2004, Jennifer Lopez married Marc Anthony. The two would be married for seven years and have two children together, twins Emme Maribel Muniz and Maximillian David Muniz.

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CREDIT: Getty

June 2005

A year later, Ben marries actress Jennifer Garner in a private ceremony. Their marriage would last until 2015 and the pair have three children together: Violet, Seraphina, and Samuel.

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June 2014

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are officially divorced.

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CREDIT: Getty

January 2015

Speaking to HuffPost Live in 2015, JLo said of the Gigli era — when she first met and got together with Ben — 'It was pretty tough...it 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.'She went on the say that she had 'no regrets' about her relationship with Ben: 'I would do it all over again I think. I really would. Even the relationship part.'

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CREDIT: Getty

March 2016

Then, the next year, Jen told People that when she first met Ben, she 'felt like… 'Okay, this is it.'She went on to say: 'Sometimes I feel like what you think people are and how you see them when you love them is different than when they reveal later…I think different time different thing, who knows what could've happened, but there was a genuine love there.' Interesting…

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March 2017

In March 2017, JLo and ARod begin dating. The couple will get engaged two years later in March 2019.

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CREDIT: Getty

October 2018

The divorce between Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner is officially settled.

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CREDIT: Getty

February 2020

Speaking to The New York Times in February 2020, Ben says of Jennifer: '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.'

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April 2021

In a statement exclusive to TODAY, JLo and ARod announce their split: '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.'

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CREDIT: Getty

April 2021

Following her split from ARod, Ben is seen visiting Jen at her home in LA. A source told People: 'They are friends. They have always been friends and they have seen each other through the years.'

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May 2021

It's been a big month for Bennifer! First, Ben compliments Jen for her InStyle cover, 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.'Then, they both attended the Vax Live concert event where Jen sang a song she wrote about Ben in 2002. And now, they reportedly went on holiday together in Montana, with a source telling TMZ that they're 'just friends.' Sure...

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