Jennifer Lopez: ‘I always felt like there was a real love there, a true love there’

Yes! Jennifer Lopez – or Jennifer Affleck, don’t you know – covers the December issue of Vogue. I’ve been waiting for this. This is the victory lap, the bow on top of the gift that is the Bennifer Revival. J.Lo has always narrated her relationships and here it is, her narration of finally marrying Ben Affleck, after all of these years. She also talks about work, which I appreciate, plus some small asides about her surroundings, the gifts she receives, how she decorates her “tent” on a green screen soundstage (an Hermes blanket, candles, a green neon sign reading “Mrs. Affleck”). You can read the whole piece here and it is long!! You just need to sit back and let the Bennifer wash over you!! Some highlights:

On changing her name to Jennifer Affleck: “People are still going to call me Jennifer Lopez. But my legal name will be Mrs. Affleck because we’re joined together. We’re husband and wife. I’m proud of that. I don’t think that’s a problem…. I’m very much in control of my own life and destiny and feel empowered as a woman and as a person. I can understand that people have their feelings about it, and that’s okay, too. But if you want to know how I feel about it, I just feel like it’s romantic. It still carries tradition and romance to me, and maybe I’m just that kind of girl.”

On Bennifer 1.0: “We were so young and so in love at that time, really very carefree, with no kids, no attachments. And we were just living our lives, being happy and out there. It didn’t feel like we needed to hide from anybody or be real discreet. We were just living out loud, and it turned out to really bite us. There was a lot underneath the surface there, people not wanting us to be together, people thinking I wasn’t the right person for him. I became very guarded because I realized that they will fillet you. I really wish I could say more. I used to be like that. I am like that. But I’ve also learned.”

Post-divorce from Marc Anthony: “I just didn’t understand what it was to care for myself, to not put somebody else’s feelings and needs—and your need for them to love you—in front of taking care of yourself. You turn yourself into a pretzel for people and think that that’s a noble thing, to put yourself second. And it’s not. Those patterns become deep patterns that you carry with you, and then at a certain point you go, Wait, this doesn’t feel good. Why am I never happy?”

When she & Ben got back together: Lopez’s intimates know that she has always held a candle for Affleck. Shortly after she and the retired baseball great Alex Rodriguez called off their engagement in early 2021, she got an email from the actor-director, who had just come out of a relationship with the actress Ana de Armas. A magazine had asked Affleck for a comment about Lopez, and he wanted her to know that he had provided a rave. They kept talking. They started visiting each other at home. “Obviously we weren’t trying to go out in public,” she explains. “But I never shied away from the fact that for me, I always felt like there was a real love there, a true love there. People in my life know that he was a very, very special person in my life. When we reconnected, those feelings for me were still very real.”

Getting back with an old flame years after the split: “I don’t know that I recommend this for everybody. Sometimes you outgrow each other, or you just grow differently. The two of us, we lost each other and found each other. Not to discredit anything in between that happened, because all those things were real too. All we’ve ever wanted was to kind of come to a place of peace in our lives where we really felt that type of love that you feel when you’re very young and wonder if you can have that again. Does it exist? Is it real? All those questions that I think everyone has.”

J.Lo & Ben are both “in recovery” sort of: “I have to forgive myself for the things that I did that I’m not proud of, the choices that I made that worked against me. Self-love is really about boundaries. Learning what you’re comfortable with and putting up the boundaries, not being afraid of the consequences. Knowing that in taking care of yourself, everything will turn out okay, that people will treat you the way you want to be treated and your life will feel good to you. For a long time, I was just like, Yes, do whatever you want! I can take it, I’ll be here, because I’m really strong, and I’ll be fine. Little by little it chips away at your self-worth, your self-esteem, your soul.”

Their exes: Affleck’s ex-wife is, Lopez says, “an amazing co-parent, and they work really well together.” Lopez does not have the benefit of such a relationship with her ex-husband, who lives on the East Coast. “The transition is a process that needs to be handled with so much care. They have so many feelings. They’re teens. But it’s going really well so far. What I hope to cultivate with our family is that his kids have a new ally in me and my kids have a new ally in him, someone who really loves and cares about them but can have a different perspective and help me see things that I can’t see with my kids because I’m so emotionally tied up.”

[From Vogue]

The timeline of the Bennifer revival is a little bit shifty, but I love it. I love that this is the narrative she’s going for, that Ben just happened to send her an email two seconds after she dumped A-Rod, and it was just an organic conversation which led to all of this. Please – Ben was absolutely waiting to make his move, and I doubt he even waited until she was completely done with A-Rod. As for Ben, he’s quoted in this piece too, and he’s so in love with his lady. He gushes, in part: “There is something innately, magically kind and good and full of love at the heart of who Jennifer is.” He also talks about her heart and her boundless love. Aw.

As for the rest of it… what I like is that she’s talking about the work she’s done on herself, how she used to stay in relationships and just go along with sh-t and how it chipped away at her self-esteem. You can tell that she’s been in therapy, she’s done the soul-searching and probably been through some life-coaching too. It’s nice to see, and I think it explains why she never married Caspar WhatsHisFace and why she ended things with A-Rod too. She figured out that she was worth more than settling for those bozos.

Cover & IG courtesy of Vogue.

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66 Responses to “Jennifer Lopez: ‘I always felt like there was a real love there, a true love there’”

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  1. Lolo86lf says:

    Jennifer Garner holds no grudge on Jennifer Lopez because Garner knows Lopez was, is and will always be Ben’s true love. I really wish that Ben and Lopez would have had a baby together. But now they are both beyond safe reproductive age.

    • MangoAngelesque says:

      To be fair, she’s only 5 years older than Hilary Swank, and everyone gushed when she revealed being pregnant with twins.

      Not that I think they *should* have a baby, but if she’s able, she could. Or they could go the surrogacy route. They gave the money to make choices lots of people couldn’t.

  2. Elo says:

    There is a lot to be said about two people who have love for one another reconnecting after working on themselves and maturing. I love them together and I hope, and I think, this is it for them.

  3. ShazBot says:

    I like what she says about co-parenting and being step-parents.

    • SarahCS says:

      I completely agree, this sounds like such a healthy and considered perspective. So often with celebrity relationships from the outside you really wonder what’s going on for the kids but here it sounds like the adults genuinely are working in the kids best interests.

  4. Seraphina says:

    I wish them peace, joy and happiness – just like a Hallmark Christmas card does.
    Now can we talk about that GAWD AWFUL cover. WTH were they thinking????

  5. Thinking says:

    I think her answers sound good here. She doesn’t discredit anyone like other celebrities accidentally do. And I’d take life advice from her on setting boundaries with people.

    The need for “young love” is amusing to me and ordinarily I might make fun of it, but it sounds understandable from her point of view. Or she framed it in a way that I could understand why she and Ben wanted it (or whatever it is they have).

    I feel like she she’s been kinder to her exes than Ben Affleck has, even though she has a rep for going after what she wants.

    • Kate says:

      Yes, I like how she said “Not to discredit anything in between that happened, because all those things were real too.” – now no one can nitpick that she’s diminishing the intervening relationships and children

      • Lens says:

        This is a very carefully done celeb profile. She had her talking points that she needed to hit and she knew that was one of them. Guess she didn’t like how the rolling stone one came out.

  6. DrFt says:

    Still gives me “white is right” vibes on Ben’s part. S8rry, not sorry.
    They could have been to some degree what the Sussexes are, as in : if you do not like my non-white wife then go eat sand.
    Instead of that he caved and married the most vanilla woman to ever lived.
    And I am speaking as a WOC who KNOWS that some men will love you from head to toe but will not have the courage to go after their family and friend’s racist views.

    • Pointillist says:

      I think Casey and Ben’s mum liked Jennifer.

    • Thinking says:

      I think he just didn’t want to get married to anyone at the time.

      I assumed he married Garner because she got pregnant. The relationship could have gone in a different direction had the pregnancy not happened.

      I don’t think all shotgun weddings are simply shotgun. There are many marriages that last even if a pregnancy pre-dated the marriage. But in his case, I thought Garner’s pregnancy moved things a lot faster into domesticity — a concept he’s always seemed slightly bored by. Not all men are like this, but Ben definitely seems bored by the domestic life.

      If they actually planned that pregnancy (and maybe someone else knows better about this), then disregard what I said previously.

      • petee says:

        I agree with you.I think he only married Jennifer Gardner because she got pregnant.It didn’t seem like he was head over heel’s for her.

    • Paula says:

      @Drft I agree with you .Although I love them together, I think Ben let white society tell him that she wasn’t right and he caved.
      Pattinson never defended Twigs,Ben caved ,Tom Hiddleston never said anything about his fans abusing his baby mama Zane and only Harry stood up for Meghan…not everyone is courageous like him,he is one of the kind.

    • LooneyTunes says:

      I think it’s very telling that she says “certain people thought I wasn’t the right person for him.” Also that Casey didn’t go to the wedding, but made sure to be seen at Target or something at the same time. I don’t think we can pretend that a lot white families (and his is from Boston) don’t want their kids procreating with non-whites.

      • Ramona says:

        It was not Casey nor his mother:his mother helped him propose to Jlo the first time and Casey was seen with his girlfriend with Jlo and her entourage in Italy when she was doing the gala for Ukraine(he was at the concert,in a restaurant,at her after party and on her Tatcher) . Casey has clearly a beef with Ben… but nobody is interested by that like nobody is interested by what Marc Anthony thinks and even in this article Jlo is shading Marc about parenting but no one is interested.When Jlo was with Arod and even with Casper,things were cool between Marc and her but since she is back with Ben…things seems more tight… but hey everybody is interested by what Jennifer Garner thinks …

      • Thinking says:

        I thought the media didn’t want Her with him. So I figured she was referencing the media.

        Ben does seem locked into what the media thinks of him … a little too much.

      • Sarah says:

        @Thinking,it was the media:
        – Conan did an episode mocking Jennifer :he brought one of his maid to represent her.I can’t believe he thought in 2003 that was a good idea 🤦‍♀️
        – Diane Sawyer said to Gwyneth Paltrow that Ben should be with her and not Jlo…and have in mind that Gwyneth was mocking Ben for his gaudy taste in jewelry and just had contempt for him.She also said years later that her parents never liked Ben as her boyfriend (they liked Ben but not as a boyfriend) and also she dated to heal something but she doesn’t know what….
        -South Park did many episodes mocking them:taco flavor kisses when Jlo is Puerto Rican and not Mexican
        – a Vanity fair reporter asked Ben why he was with Jlo like wtf?? He had to justify why he was with her…
        There are so many other examples I can give you..
        It seems they were everywhere,the public seemed fascinated and he kissed her ass on a boat and that angered a lot of ppl.(I thought the butt kiss was sweet… whatever. very intimate and like something real couples do when they think no one’s watching)
        And Ben knew all of that but unraveled,his family has an history with mental health and addiction.It did get to him. I can’t judge him too harshly…it can be hard when everybody is telling you she is not the right one,not anybody can handle that.As a Woc,I endure every day micro agression that my white partner can’t begin to imagine…

    • A says:

      I don’t think that was it. He was very vocal during and immediately after their relationship about the racism directed at her. His mom gave an interview about how excited she was for them to have kids.

      He was still drinking at that time and her publicist has said that was a major reason for the breakup

    • Karisma says:

      I don’t think the drinking was the reason for the break up either, certainly what she said to keep the face. Ben refused to set up another date for the wedding after canceling the first one, that was the major reason, she was ready to work it out but Ben had already checked out from the relationship at that point

      • Karisma says:

        Ben did check out of the relationship towards the end; the strippers antics, partying at the clubs with Damon in Europe, refusing to set a new date for the wedding etc he was forcing her hands to do the dumping. There is no proof he wanted her back and she said no, in “he’ll be back” she’s wishing for him to come back while she was already with Marc, same in “I can’t believe this is me” she’s talking about him walking away from the relationship like a coward.
        He wasn’t talking about her in every interviews, journalists were asking questions and he was replying and she did the same throughout the years.
        I like them together and I’m rooting for them no need to rewrite their story to make it some kind of fairytale.

      • Shelly says:

        Didn’t Ben spend a few months after the break-up frequenting casinos playing into the wee hours of the morning all depressed? I also remember JLo producing that Spanish drama Como Ama una Mujer a couple of years later where the characters were eerily similar to her, Ben, and Marc where “Ben” kept calling and wanting her back, haha. I wouldn’t say he completely checked out towards the end, but he certainly was very conflicted during that time. I think he loved her very much, but knew their relationship was damaging his career and making life unbearable with all the media attention. He didn’t stop loving her, he just couldn’t tolerate what being with her brought. Ben even wore that camel coat she bought for him to one of the Jersey Girl premieres post break-up telling me feelings still lingered. Also, he just so happened to come down with “bronchitis” that caused him to be hospitalized a couple of times during Jersey Girl promos the week of JLo and Marc’s wedding? I’m not buying it. I think the man was having a breakdown, lol.

      • Carolnr says:

        There is a video on You- tube when ET was interviewing Ben about his movie, Daredevil. Ben said ( it’s on video) that he enjoyed doing the kissing scenes with a huge smile on his face!( they would have been with JG). If I were engaged & my future husband said that ( let alone on tv,, which is on video forever), I would have dumped him so fast!!! ( But JL didn’t)

    • Sunnee says:

      DRFT- You said what ive been thinking, only in more succinct terms. As a WOC, I remember what the vibe was around JLo and Ben-She was too “ethnic”. Some want to think that “he wasn’t ready”, but no. He married whitest white Jen a year later. He wasn’t ready to defend and protect JLo.

  7. Seraphina says:

    I wish them Peace, Joy and Happiness – like a Hallmark Christmas card.
    Now, can we talk about that GAWD AWFUL Vogue cover???

  8. Lisa says:

    didnt their first wedding not come to be because he cheated with a stripper at a bachelor party or something as opposed to just generic cold feet? I wouldnt trust him as far as I could throw his dunkin donuts coffee.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      Yeah, he was caught cheating with a stripper in Vancouver, I think? I think this is how he operates when he wants out, he will cheat and force his partner to end it so he isn’t the “bad guy”. I wouldn’t trust him either, he has displayed a pattern in relationships and I know growth, maturity, timing, doing self work, blah de blah but he’s a grown man repeating behaviour over and over.

    • Mtl.Ex.Pat says:

      @lisa – yep exactly. And he was also caught being handsy with a TV host in Canada around that time. The rebranding of this as “‘my greatest love” makes me laugh – he wasn’t faithful first time around and all her chatter about joining together also makes me laugh considering how many husbands and fiancés she’s had. It’s great PR and who knows , maybe there is substance to it this time, but he’s still a d-ck in my book and she’s in love with the concept of love.

    • Lens says:

      He was caught cheating with a stripper(s) publicly since it was seen by plenty in Vancouver and was all over the gossip sites (not blinds) at the time. She didn’t care and was going full speed at towards the wedding when they broke up three days before the three-four hundred people wedding happened due to his cold feet. Then they got back together briefly but he never made any attempts to re-schedule so she immediately got with Marc and married him. If she was madly in love with him would she have done that? But Ben seems to like women better when they are married/engaged/ attached to others. If he was a woman we would call him a homewrecker after all. And I think jlo would have worked things out with ARod if Ben wasn’t there being available after Ana dumped him. She can’t be alone for a day.

      • Ramona says:

        @Lens where is the proof of what you are saying ? He went to a strip club but nothing happened with the strippers and many ppl confirmed it.The stripper sued the Enquirer and Ben threatened to sue them also… I know you are a Jennifer Garner’s fan but you seemed so invested to hate this relationship

  9. Julia K says:

    I do like Jennifer Garner but I am thinking that her first pregnancy was a tactic to ensure a wedding ring. She fell in love; she wanted commitment, he was waffling and here we are.

    • Lens says:

      She had just been married so I don’t think that was it. I think they both wanted kids at the time. Him as much as her as I remember him saying his goal was he wanted a family in an interview he did fall of 2004. And as for this relationship -all the stuff jlo says about past relationships – she just let the guy do what he wanted and let her needs go by the wayside – I have a strong feeling will happen again with this very selfish husband.

      • Brittany says:

        So Jennifer Garner had 3 kids with a selfish husband…isn’t she selfish for doing that? Violet…ok she didn’t know maybe he was selfish but she had the other 2 in 6 years,didn’t she realize he was selfish ? I don’t understand this logic:Jennifer Garner always appear to escape any criticism but Jlo is always criticized for her love choices.Jennifer Garner is now two times divorced but everybody treats her like she is some saint:her and Ben have been messy the first time they got together (what happened between them and Foley,Vartan and Jlo is pretty sketchy).
        I am not a big fan of Jlo but I hate this narrative that she is this sultry and dumb for men and Jennifer Garner is a saint who did no wrong.

    • Karisma says:

      @ Julia k I agree. Jennifer Garner knew exactly what she was doing when she got pregnant so early in the relationship, that marriage started on a shaking ground and lasted way past its due

  10. Amy Bee says:

    JLo says a lot of good things here. I wish them all the best.

    • Sarah says:

      +1 and I also liked when she said that she tries to parent her kids without screaming cause I know her mom was more tough with her and her sisters. It also seems that she is raising her children alone since she divorced Marc .It’s great that they seem to have a good relationship with Ben.

      • Karisma says:

        @ Christine they are not the problem in the bennifer equation but Garner has been divorced twice now 🙃
        Maybe sometimes in a relationship there are some wrongs on both sides, just saying

  11. Esmerelda says:

    It’s clever on Affleck’s part to marry a rich woman who’s so into him that she’ll forgive anything and keep him secure on that pedestal – especially since he’s looking at late middle age in Hollywood. Anyone else just got tired of his BS, or didn’t praise him enough, I guess.
    JLo went all in: she’s Mrs Affleck and she keeps telling us.

  12. shanaynay says:

    In my opinion, JL goes through men like most people go through underwear.

    • Nika says:

      I never understood this reference. She was 4 years with Arod, now almost 2 years with Ben. I would hope most people change their underwear more often.

    • YOKOOHNO says:

      @Shanaynay so you’re saying that in 20+ years “most people” changed their underwear roughly six times?? Sorry but that’s absolutely disgusting! And I have to tell you that actually “most people” change their underwear daily, not sure who raised you??

      Thinking maybe your misogyny ran away with you a little there…

    • Julia K says:

      @shanaynay, read the comments of a couple days ago regarding Jenna Bush Hager and not wearing underwear. The comments blew me away! Apparently many many people do not wear underpants.

    • Emmi says:

      No she doesn’t. She’s a serial monogamist but so are a lot of people. She’s in love with love, I think it’s her driving force and while I’m the opposite (I find it all exhausting and stifling) I understand her approach. She loves relationships and I always believed she wanted all of them to work out.

  13. HeyKay says:

    I don’t understand how she forgives him for the stripper before cancelling the wedding.
    Ben Affleck is a complete man-baby.
    If it lasts, she will be the grown up doing the work. By herself.

    • Duch says:

      Eh. Because she’s older and can look differently at his acting out when he was at the age when people act out. Not that it didn’t hurt like hell at the time, but I imagine given age-begotten wisdom about human nature, she can understand and forgive it. And it sounds like she thinks there are things she could have done differently too?

      • Coco says:

        He cheated on Garner with multiple women and other women he was with after his divorce from Garner . He the same person he was when he cheated on JLO years ago.

      • Duch says:

        @coco Wisdom only goes so far ! she probably figures he would never do that to her again, even though he did with Jennifer g. Time will tell.

      • Thinking says:

        Weren’t they in their 30s when they were dating? Maybe I’m misremembering, but I felt like they were at a standard marriageable age. By that point, you’re kind of weird if you’re still acting out. And he never really stopped acting out when he was with Garner.

        They were young-ish, but they weren’t 19.

    • T says:

      It’s called having no self esteem. She also has to take endless selfies to prove her worth

  14. jferber says:

    Well, I love her photo on the magazine cover. KILLER. She can always bring it in looking gorgeous. I always kind of liked her with Diddy, though I know he sees women “seriously” like never, since he always has two side chicks along with the main event. I still like Diddy, probably better than her.

    • DiegoinSF says:

      I absolutely love the cover, so arresting and different than what you usually see!

      • Carolnr says:

        They totally badly photoshopped her hanging from the tree…look how her arms are placed incorrectly!!!!
        Sorry, that is terrible!!!!

      • Lens says:

        Yes CarolNR that’s what I thought too – they photoshoped her on to the tree so it’s awkward looking

      • Joy says:

        @ DiegoinSF It’s an Eartha Kitt hommage.I like it and she is beautiful as always ❤️

  15. Jaded says:

    Sometimes life gives you a second chance at love when things fukc up the first time around. Happened to me. We were a lot older and wiser the second time, and yes mistakes were made originally, mostly by Mr. Jaded, but you look at all the good parts and think “this is worth diving into the deep end for”. It’s taught me that what goes around comes around, we reap what we sow and lessons are learned. Forgiveness is a powerful tool.

  16. A says:

    She sounds like someone who has done a lot of work in therapy. Happy for her and them

  17. Dee Kay says:

    As someone who really believes in therapy, I recognize in her remarks someone who has had a ton of therapy and has become more conscious and cognizant of every part of themselves and their lives through the process. I am not a big fan of either J.Lo or Affleck but somehow I am a believer in Bennifer 2.0!!! I have faith that people can change, grow, learn what they have to learn about themselves and each other and the world, over time. They seem like they have; I hope it’s true.

  18. Lucy2 says:

    I hope Ben lives up to be the person she thinks and wants him to be. The cynic in me says this is still the honeymoon period, but maybe they will prove me wrong and be in it for the long-haul.

  19. Shirley says:

    JLo is constantly talking about her love for Ben. She is on a mission to prove that she wasn’t cheated on and left at the alter by Ben.
    The truth is that she was in a very public way.
    He then happily married Jennifer Garner and had a beautiful family together.
    JLo will never find happiness.
    She has Ben because after he dated everyone else during the past 7 years no one else wanted him.
    She acts like he is a prize.
    He isn’t.

    • Shelly says:

      I don’t think she’s trying to disprove/dispel the past. She was very vocal about her love for Ben during Bennifer 1.0 before everything imploded. It’s just how she’s always been about him and their relationship. Like everyone, they’re both trying to find happiness and if they feel it’s with each other right now, I don’t see what’s the problem. I’m sure anyone that’s been with either of them would tell you that they’re both complicated individuals that aren’t easy to be with. I think their deep understanding of each other and ability to accept each other’s flaws will serve them well. Only if/when they break-up will I think it’s ok to criticize or talk trash about their relationship. We’re not there yet.

      • DiegoInSF says:

        Thank you Sire, who says “X will never find happiness” about anyone? That’s really nasty and what goes around comes around, someone might be projecting.

  20. Keaton says:

    I can’t help but root for her because she’s been nuts about him for a long time.
    But I still think he’s a schmuck and all his exes could do better.

  21. JoydeF says:

    Rooting for them. They are not flawless,like all of us, but they deserve happiness.She is very thoughtful and says the right thing. At first, I didn’t like Jlo going back to him(he seems messy and the fanbase of his ex wife are a bunch of Karen) but they have grown on me. I wish them happiness. It’s clear that him and Jennifer Garner are done romantically but are successfully co parenting so who cares what happened 20 years ago.. what’s important is now and their kids.