Almost 20 years after the first time Ben Affleck proposed to Jennifer Lopez, the pair are rumored to be close to an engagement, according to a source close to celebrity couple. Dubbed "Bennifer" during the first go-'round, Affleck and Lopez were two of the biggest stars in the world when they began their romance, and quickly became one of the most-discussed celebrity couples of that era. After the disastrous box office performance of Gigli and the dissolution of their engagement, they quickly became a cautionary tale instead, only to make a comeback as the internet's favorite nostalgic love story.
Lopez and Affleck started dating in 2002, and got engaged that same year. In September of 2003, the pair announced that they were delaying their wedding, and then would officially split in January 2004. In 2021, after a very public split from Jennifer Garner and an avalanche of tabloid headlines, rumors began to circulate that Affleck had once again started dating Lopez. It was Lopez who would confirm it to the public, sharing a photo of the pair kissing on Instagram back in July.
An interview last month on The Howard Stern Show, Affleck was candid about his romantic struggles, including discussing the factors that went into his original relationship with Lopez falling apart. He gained the ire of the internet for saying that he felt "trapped" in his marriage with Garner, which lasted from 2005 until 2018. The pair have three children together, and were a fan-favorite coupling for years, so social media took offense on Garner's behalf.
"Jen and Ben are doing great. Ben's interview with Howard Stern didn't really put too much of a strain on their relationship. They understand that things like this happen sometimes, and words can get misconstrued," an anonymous source told ET. "They are madly in love and Jen totally has Ben's back, which is why she wanted to make her support and stance known publicly. Things between their children are pretty organic at this point. The families respect each other and also get along, so things are all good and fine on that front. Their friends think they will get engaged eventually and it's only a matter of time."
Garner herself has not responded to the comments publicly, but Affleck went on Jimmy Kimmel Live shortly after to clarify that while he had been unhappy in the marriage, Garner and the kids understood the context of his comments and that he would never say anything bad about Garner personally.
Lopez and Affleck have denied reports that Lopez was upset over Affleck's comments.
Ironically, Kevin Smith's candid assessment of Affleck's personal life and their friendship was likely a reason the pair didn't work together for years. In the time between Jersey Girl and Jay & Silent Bob Reboot, fans would ask Smith about his relationship with Affleck, and Smith would say that he didn't think the superstar actor appreciated Smith's off-the-cuff comments when talking to fans and the press. When questioned about it in an interview of his own, Affleck denied any acrimony and said he would love to work with Smith again, which led to his role in Reboot.