Meant to be after all?

Why Jennifer Lopez & Ben Affleck Ended Their First Relationship

Why Did Jennifer Lopez And Ben Affleck Break Up?

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are back together after nearly 20 years apart. But why did "Bennifer" break up in the early 2000s? Here's a look back at their first relationship and why J.Lo and Ben called off their engagement back in the day.

It's been the surprise reconnection of 2021: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are together again.

The couple of yesteryear are seeing each other again after J.Lo broke off her engagement with Alex Rodriguez. But why did "Bennifer" call it quits all those years ago?

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's 1st relationship timeline

If you need a refresher, Lopez and Affleck first got together in 2002 after making the widely-panned film Gigli the year earlier. J.Lo had been married to her second husband Cris Judd at the time, but they separated, and word of her and Affleck's relationship got out soon after.

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Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in 'Gigli'.

They became the couple of the day and you couldn't go long without hearing the latest about "Bennifer." Lopez and Affleck actually even got engaged in late 2002 with plans to marry in 2003.

But they ended up postponing their wedding and ultimately broke off their engagement early the next year. So they were officially together from around the summer of 2002 until early 2004.

Why did Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck break up?

As it turns out, all the tabloid attention got to the young couple back in the day. Red flags were flying when they postponed their 2003 wedding just days beforehand, blaming "excessive media attention."

In the years since they broke up, both Affleck and Lopez have spoken about how the tabloids invaded and fractured their relationship. Lopez used words including "scary," "overwhelming" and "helpless" to describe how she felt being in a relationship so under the microscope.

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Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez

Affleck had hoped to keep the relationship a secret at first, and Lopez said her partner ended up feeling highly uncomfortable with the relentless scrutiny of their romance. In her 2014 book, J.Lo also called the breakup her "first real heartbreak," making it sound as if Ben pushed for the split.

But they remained on good terms and stayed in touch for the nearly 20 years spent apart. And they've now reconnected after another marriage and divorce for each.

Lopez was also on her way to marrying Alex Rodriguez, but they broke up in April 2021 — the same month news broke of Affleck and Lopez's reunion.