Now that they’re back together, many fans are wondering why Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck split in the first place. Well, it seems that the exes-turned-lovers were on “very different paths” at the end of their relationship 17 years ago—but as we can see now, J-Lo “always” left a piece of her heart with Ben, according to a source who spoke to the New York Post’s Page Six.
The Hustlers star, 51, and Argo producer, 48, began dating for the first time after meeting on the set of Gigli in 2001. Bennifer, as they soon became known, got engaged shortly thereafter in 2002 and were set to wed in 2003. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be—at least not then. Jennifer and Ben called off their wedding and ultimately announced their split in early 2004. But what caused their breakup? According to Page Six‘s source, J-Lo was the one to break things off with the Dazed and Confused star.
“As hot and heavy as their relationship was, they were on very different paths at the end of it,” the insider said in a report published by Page Six on Wednesday, June 16. “Jennifer was ready to settle down and have kids, but Ben wasn’t keen on giving up his bachelor lifestyle just yet. In the end, she got tired of waiting for him to come around — even though it broke her heart to end things.”
Apparently, the split left Jen so heartbroken that she was never really able to let go of Ben. As the source explains, “Jennifer always saw Ben as the one that got away. She was crushed after they broke up, though she felt at the time that she had no other choice but to call off their engagement.”
And don’t just take Page Six’s word for it. The “In The Morning” singer even went on to call her breakup with Ben the “first real heartbreak” she ever experienced. “Ben and I split up at the moment when I thought we were committing to each other forever,” J-Lo wrote in her 2014 memoir, True Love
. “It was my first real heartbreak, it felt like my heart had been torn out of my chest.”
Luckily for Jen—and Ben!—second chances are never too late to take. The pair rekindled their relationship in April 2021 following J-Lo’s split from Alex Rodriguez, whom she broke up with after four years together. After calling off her engagement with the MLB star, however, it looks like Jennifer is fully back on with her other ex-fiancé. Most recently, Jen and Ben were photographed kissing in public for the first time since getting back together, confirming that their reunion is in full swing.
For more about J-Lo’s life, check out True Love by Jennifer Lopez. The 2014 memoir covers the “Jenny on the Block” singer’s career and personal life, from her start as a dancer to when she became a mom of two twins with her now-ex-husband Marc Anthony. In the book, which includes more than 200 personal photographs from J-Lo’s never-before-seen collection, the Selena actress writes about how “she confronted her greatest challenges, identified her biggest fears, and ultimately emerged a stronger person than she’s ever been” to become the pop icon we know today.
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