Here's everything you need to know about Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's love story, from when they started dating, to their 2004 breakup, to their rekindling their romance
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez attend The Last Duel New York Premiere on October 09, 2021 in New York City.
Credit: Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

A complete Bennifer breakdown.

It's been two decades since one of Hollywood's most notable love stories first began — that being when Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck first got together.

While the pair initially met back in 2002, their rollercoaster romance has been closely followed for 20 years — from when they first started dating to their rekindled romance in 2021.

The pair initially dated for two years, stirring up a tabloid frenzy with their relationship, but eventually split in 2004. Following their breakup, both Lopez and Affleck pursued other relationships and started families of their own.

Lopez was married to Marc Anthony from 2004 to 2014, and they are parents to twins Max and Emme. Meanwhile, Affleck was married to Jennifer Garner from 2005 to 2018, and they have three kids together, daughters Violet and Seraphina and son Samuel.

Ben Affleck; Jennifer Lopez
Credit: Momodu Mansaray/Getty Images

In April 2021, Lopez and Affleck were spotted together for the first time in over a decade, sparking relationship rumors. They eventually went public with their rekindled romance on Instagram a few months later.

Here's a look back at the couple's relationship timeline over the course of two decades.

Early 2002: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck first meet 

jennifer lopez and ben affleck
Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez
| Credit: Getty

Lopez and Affleck first met in 2002 on the set of their movie Gigli, which came out the following year. At the time, Lopez was married to her second husband, Cris Judd. The couple eventually divorced in 2003, Lopez and Affleck went public with their romance shortly after.

Lopez told PEOPLE in 2016, "I really felt like when I met Ben, 'Okay, this is it."

The duo quickly became one of the biggest couples in Hollywood and one of the first to receive a hybrid couple name: "Bennifer."

November 2002: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck get engaged

jennifer lopez and ben affleck
Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck
| Credit: getty

In a November 2002 interview with Diane Sawyer, Lopez revealed her engagement to Affleck, describing it as "traditional, but also in a very spectacular way, as of course Ben would do it … it was very, very beautiful."

PEOPLE reported at the time that Affleck proposed with a custom-made Harry Winston pink-diamond solitaire ring he chose himself.

In her interview with Sawyer, Lopez described her then-fiancé as "brilliantly smart … Loving. Charming. Affectionate," adding that her mother approved.

"And I just admire him in every way," she said.

jennifer lopez and ben affleck
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in 2002
| Credit: getty

She also acknowledged that some people viewed their relationship as unlikely, but pointed out that she and the actor had bonded over similar upbringings.

"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?'" she said.

Lopez added, "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."

Early 2003: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck face tabloid frenzy

jennifer lopez and ben affleck
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in 2002
| Credit: getty

Heading into 2003, Lopez and Affleck were one of the most popular Hollywood couples to appear in the tabloids and were infamously hounded by the paparazzi.

Lopez even acknowledged their notoriety in the music video for her song "Jenny from the Block," which featured paparazzi shots of herself and Affleck doing everything from pumping gas to lounging on a yacht together.

"We didn't try to have a public relationship," Lopez told PEOPLE in 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."

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in 2002
| Credit: DOUG KANTER/AFP via Getty

Lopez told InStyle that the media circus surrounding her relationship with Affleck was "just crazy."

"Now at least I can show you who I am a little bit," she said. "Back then you just believed anything you read on the cover of a tabloid. Many times it wasn't true, or it was like a third of the truth."

In a January 2021 podcast interview, Affleck reflected on how rude media coverage of Lopez was when they were together.

"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," he said. "Now it's like, she's lionized and respected for the work she did, where she came from, what she accomplished — as well she f----- should be! I would say you have a better shot, coming from the Bronx, of ending up as like [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor on the Supreme Court than you do of having Jennifer Lopez's career and being who she is at 50 years old today."

January 2004: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck break up

jennifer lopez and ben affleck
Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck
| Credit: getty

The pair were set to tie the knot in Santa Barbara in September 2003, but postponed the ceremony just one day before their scheduled date.

"Due to the excessive media attention surrounding our wedding, we have decided to postpone the date," they said in a statement at the time. "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," the statement continued. "We felt what should have been a joyful and sacred day could be spoiled for us, our families and our friends."

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in 2002
| Credit: Jim Spellman/WireImage

PEOPLE previously reported that after briefly splitting up in the wake of the canceled wedding, the duo rekindled their relationship, but officially called it quits in January 2004. The intense media attention is largely said to have been a major factor in their breakup.

"Jennifer Lopez has ended her engagement to Ben Affleck. At this difficult time, we ask that you respect her privacy," Lopez's rep said at the time, while Affleck's rep added, "I am not going to confirm anything about his personal life. We don't want to get dragged into quicksand. Everybody wants a war. It's not happening from our side."

In her interview with PEOPLE in 2016, Lopez said that despite their split, there was "genuine love" between herself and Affleck.

"I think different time different thing, who knows what could've happened, but there was a genuine love there," she said.

2015-2020: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck remain friends

Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez
Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Lopez and Affleck remained supportive of one another in the years following their split.

In 2020, Affleck showed his support for Lopez's acting career, saying that she should have been nominated for an Oscar for her role in Hustlers.

"She should have been nominated. She's the real thing," Affleck told New York Times reporter Brooks Barnes. "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—— baller."

April 2021: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck rekindle their relationship 

ben affleck, jennifer lopez
Ben Affleck (L); Jennifer Lopez
| Credit: getty (2)

Following Lopez's split from Alex Rodriguez in April 2021, the singer began spending time with Affleck in L.A.

"They are friends. They have always been friends and they have seen each other through the years," a source told PEOPLE.

Another source told PEOPLE, "They have a great time hanging out. ... It's been years since they caught up properly. They have lots to talk about. They plan on hanging out again."

Less than a week later, the two were spotted in Montana together. Sources told PEOPLE they were pictured riding in a car together near a resort in Big Sky, where Affleck has a home.

"[Jennifer] spent several days with Ben out of town. They have a strong connection. It's all been quick and intense, but Jennifer is happy," a source told PEOPLE.

July 24, 2021: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck go Instagram official 

In July 2021, Lopez posted a carousel of photos on Instagram in honor of her 52nd birthday. Grouped in the mix of bikini and boat pictures, the final photo in the roundup showed Lopez and Affleck kissing.

This marked the first time the couple personally posted about each other on social media.

September 10, 2021: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck walk their first red carpet since rekindling their romance 

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck
Credit: Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty

At the Venice Film Festival in September 2021, the duo made returned to the red carpet for the first time since reuniting. It was a big night for the two, but especially for Affleck as it was the premiere of his film, The Last Duel.

Affleck and Lopez channeled Old Hollywood vibes as they strutted the carpet alongside each other in glamorous looks. Affleck donned a classic black tux, while Lopez wore a white mermaid-style gown, accentuated with a string of Swarovski crystal embellishments and accompanied by Cariter diamonds. 

The couple marked another major milestone later that month when they attended their first Met Gala together on Sept. 13 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala. Not only did Affleck and Lopez stun in Ralph Lauren, but they shared a passionate kiss through their masks.

October 9, 2021: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck attend The Last Duel premiere 

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez attend "The Last Duel" New York Premiere at Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall on October 09, 2021 in New York City.
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez
| Credit: Arturo Holmes/Getty

The couple stepped out in style yet again for the premiere of The Last Duel in New York City on Oct. 9, 2021. Held at Lincoln Center, Lopez and Affleck's infatuation with each other was crystal clear as the two couldn't help but smile wide at each other while they posed for pictures.

February 8, 2022: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck attend the Marry Me premiere 

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez
Credit: Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

Lopez and Affleck kept the red carpet circuit going into the new year, as they appeared at the Marry Me premiere in Los Angeles on Feb. 8, 2022. The singer, who stars in the film, went dressed in all white as a playful nod to the movie's romantic theme.

February 2022: Jennifer Lopez opens up about Ben Affleck romance in PEOPLE's Love Issue 

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez
Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez
| Credit: Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

Lopez chatted with PEOPLE for the 2022 Love Issue, opening up about the loves in her life — ranging from her kids to her rekindled relationship with Affleck.

"I feel so lucky and happy and proud to be with him," Lopez said of her rekindled romance with Affleck, adding, "It's a beautiful love story that we got a second chance."

March 22, 2022: Ben Affleck supports Jennifer Lopez at the iHeartRadio Music Awards

As Lopez accepted the Icon Award at the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 22, Affleck smiled proudly from the audience with son Samuel, 10, and Lopez's daughter Emme, 14, by his side.

Samuel and Emme stood on opposite sides of the actor and also cheered for Lopez with a standing ovation. The sweet moment of the three was captured by iHeartRadio on Twitter, writing, "You know #BenAffleck had to show up and support @JLo."

Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Emme
Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images; Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

April 2022: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are engaged (again)!

Congratulations! The pair got engaged in April 2022, a rep for Lopez confirmed to PEOPLE. Lopez shared the news in her On the JLo newsletter after she was photographed wearing what appeared to be an engagement ring earlier in the month.

She revealed the exciting update in an April 8 email to her inner circle. The message to fans included a clip of Lopez admiring a huge, green diamond on her ring finger, an image of which was also shared by her sister on social media.

Lopez teased the "major announcement" with a video on Twitter that same night. "So I have a really exciting and special story to share..." Lopez told her followers. She also added a diamond ring emoji to her Twitter handle.