Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck called off their relationship in 2004. The couple was engaged.
Jennifer Lopez and long-time fiance Alex Rodriguez recently called off their wedding and officially announced their split, saying that they decided to remain friends. Speaking of being friends with exes, Lopez was seen hanging out with Ben Affleck, who she was engaged to previously. Sources close to the former couple stated, "They are friends. They have always been friends and they have seen each other through the years," according to People.
While they were deeply in love when together, Lopez and Affleck's relationship suffered majorly due to the constant media coverage and criticisms. With the tabloids following the duo and digging into their affairs relentlessly, they could hardly enjoy any privacy. Eventually, the couple called it quits in 2004 after two years of being engaged to each other.
However, reflecting on their romance years later, Lopez said their love story would have had a different ending if it was not for the tabloid frenzy. "I think different time different thing, who knows what could've happened, but there was a genuine love there," said the singer, according to People. Lopez met Affleck on the set of the movie Gigli in 2002. However, the two did not have an instant romance as Lopez was still a married woman. Just a year later, after her split from her second husband Cris Judd, Lopez and Affleck publically announced they were a couple.
Speaking of the first time she met Affleck, Lopez stated, "I felt like … ‘Okay, this is it,'" according to People. Soon, the duo became one of the most popular celebrity couples of the time. They were given the name "Bennifer" and the couple became the talk of the town. Just months later, Affleck popped the big question and the two were engaged. Recalling the proposal, Lopez stated it was"traditional, but also in a very spectacular way, as of course Ben would do it … it was very, very beautiful."
In an interview with Diane Sawyer in 2002, Lopez gushed about her new fiance. She described him as "brilliantly smart … Loving. Charming. Affectionate." She added, "And I just admire him in every way." Lopez also revealed that her mother approved of him. Despite Affleck and Lopez's love for each other, the people around them, especially the tabloids, were critical of their relationship.
Addressing the issue, Lopez stated, "We've talked about this so many times, and we talked about how people kind of see him with … one type of person and me with another type of person, and the two of us together is like, 'How did that happen?' And how we're probably more alike and from the same kind of background … same kind of upbringing and same kind of family and same kind of house."
Though Lopez and Affleck thought they could resist the media pressure, it ultimately played a role in creating a gap in their relationship. First, the couple was forced to postpone their wedding ceremony that was set for September 2003.
"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," said the couple in an official statement. They continued. "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."
According to People, after the cancellation of their wedding, the couple took a break from their relationship. However, they rekindled the spark later. Unfortunately, that did not last very long. In January 2004, the couple officially parted ways.
Looking at his relationship with Lopez, Affleck said, "People were so f—— mean about her — sexist, racist. Ugly, vicious s--- was written about her in ways that if you wrote it now you would literally be fired for saying those things you said." Though years went by and the two went on to meet other people, Affleck and Lopez seemingly share a special relationship. On several occasions, the two have appreciated each other for their achievements over the years.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) Kevin Winter and (R) Vince Bucci