In May 2021, the entire internet collectively lost it over a reunion between Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. After a much-publicized relationship in the early '00s (who could forget that pink diamond ring?), the two went their separate ways, including marriages and children on both sides over the next decade. However, after two divorces, a breakup, and a broken-off engagement, the former couple was spotted "hanging out" in May 2021, sparking rumors across the internet. This might be a case of extreme nostalgia or maybe we all just don't want Affleck to have to drink his Dunkin' coffee alone anymore. Regardless, people are shipping this throwback couple. Ahead we're looking back at one of our favorite couples from the past (and possibly the future). Here is a complete timeline of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez's relationship.
- The couple first met in 2001 on the set of the movie Gigli.
- Affleck proposed in November of 2002 with 6.1-carat pink diamond ring. Lopez, of course, says yes.
- In September 2003, they called off their wedding before confirming a split at the beginning of 2004.
- In May 2021, after they've both ended their respective relationships, the two stars are spotted hanging out again.
December 2001: A Meet Cute On the Set of Gigli
Ben and Jennifer met while on set filming the 2003 movie Gigli, about a couple of assassins on a kidnapping mission who ended up falling for each other. While the movie may have eventually bombed at the box office, the two co-stars found romance off-screen and gifted us with "Bennifer."
September 2002: The Couple Collaborates on Another Movie
In 2002, the duo caused a stir by signing on to collaborate on another movie, the 2004 film Jersey Girl. They had just wrapped up a previous project, Gigli, so the second move deal immediately sparked relationship rumors. Lopez was still married to Chris Judd at the time, and Jennifer and Ben didn't go public with their relationship until her divorce was finalized in 2003.
November 2002: A Hollywood Engagement
In November of 2003, Ben Affleck proposed to Jennifer Lopez with a pink diamond, which Affleck had custom-made by Harry Winston. The singer told Diane Sawyer that the proposal was “traditional, but also in a very spectacular way, as of course, Ben would do it." She also added that her fiance was “brilliantly smart, loving, charming, and affectionate.”
This same month, the couple appeared together in J.Lo's iconic video for her smash hit "Jenny From the Block."
November 2002: J.Lo's Ring Starts A Trend
Lopez's engagement ring became a media fixation and cultural phenom for its unique color, inspiring brides for years to come. A 6.1-carat, radiant-cut, pink diamond created by Harry Winston, the setting is credited for starting the colored diamond trend and increasing the value of pink diamonds. The engagement ring reportedly cost $2.5 million at the time.
July 2003: The Gigli Premiere
The fiancés attended the premiere for their movie Gigli together. J.Lo stunned, as always, in a plunging dress with a corset-like midsection.
September 2003: They Call Off Their Wedding
Just days before the couple was set to walk down the aisle, the two decide to postpone their wedding, announcing the news in a joint statement.
“Due to the excessive media attention surrounding our wedding, we have decided to postpone the date,” it read. “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.”
January 2004: It's Over
At the beginning of 2004, Lopez and Affleck officially call off their engagement for good. The couple verified the split with a statement from Lopez's rep. "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," the statement read.
February 2020: Ben Says J.Lo Deserved an Oscar Nomination
Roughly 16 years after their split, Affleck had nothing but nice things to say about J.Lo and her performance in Hustler—for which she was snubbed at the Oscars. He told the New York Times during a feature that she should have been nominated.
"She should have been nominated," he said. "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 f***ing baller."
January 2021: Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas Split
After almost a year together, Ben Aflleck and Ana de Armas called it quits. The actors met in early 2020 on the set of Deep Water in New Orleans and were frequently spotted together during the quarantine period in Los Angeles. The Knives Out actress confirmed their relationship on Instagramin April 2020 when she shared photos for her 32nd birthday. However, in January 2021, they officially ended things according to People.
April 2021: Jennifer and Arod Officially Call It Quits
"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 is to say is thank you to everyone who has sent kind words and support," the statement read.
May 2021: The Former Couple Remains Friends
InStyle's May 2021 Cover story included quotes from many of Jennifer's friends—Ben included. Her former fiancé gushed to the publication 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." Cue the "awwws."
May 2021: A Bennifer Reunion
After J.Lo's split from Arod, Affleck was spotted getting in and out of a white Escalade, allegedly belonging to Lopez. Sources told People that the pair are just friends but that they've hung out several times and plan to keep hanging out.
Things appeared to take have taken a romantic turn as emails from Affleck over the last few months surfaced, and the two are spotted on a trip to Montana (more on that later) alone. A source told E! that Lopez "wants to give it a shot with Ben." Reportedly, "they never really had closure, and she has always wondered what could have been. The timing was never right, and they were in different places until now."
"She finally has had the opportunity to spend time with him and see where this could lead," the source continued. "They are very comfortable together, and it's easy. She wants to keep seeing him and is very happy."
May 10, 2021: The Montana Trip
TMZ reported on May 10 that the friendly exes both stayed at Montana's Big Sky Resort for a weekend and were spotted driving around together. They even flew from L.A. to Bozeman back to L.A. together. According to E! News, “It’s natural between them, and the chemistry is unreal.” Neither star has yet to confirm the relationship, but considering their history, this reunion is one to watch.
May 22, 2021: Welcome to Miami
The weekend of May 22, Ben was spotted in Miami visiting Jennifer at one of her private residences. The pair reportedly looked ridiculously happy. They were photographed outside of Lopez's house, and the actress and singer can be seen with a huge grin spread across her face.
A source told E! News that "Ben took a red-eye to Miami and went straight to J.Lo's new house in the early morning hours. She looked pleased to see him, and they walked around the property together so she could show him around."
They continued, "She had a big smile on her face and was twirling in a loose summer dress. They spent the day inside together but came out a few times for fresh air and to admire the water view." A witness added that Affleck smoked a cigarette while the multi-hyphenate took some selfies on her balcony.
So, where to next?