Why did Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck break up? Ex-lovers' 'genuine love' had been 'too accessible'

Bennifer 2.0 is making headlines currently and its the very reason why they couldn't commit to walk down the aisle two decades ago.


                            Why did Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck break up? Ex-lovers' 'genuine love' had been 'too accessible'
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck dated for 18 months after meeting in 2002 (Getty Images)

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are dominating headlines as news broke about the former lovers spending time together last week. After secretly hanging out together at JLo's Los Angeles home, the two of them jetted off to Montana for a week on what is believed to be a couple's retreat. Everyone is wondering if it's the return of Bennifer, but is this truly what it appears to be? Or Affleck is the shoulder JLo is falling back on in the aftermath of breaking off her two-year engagement with boyfriend Alex Rodriguez? 

Only time will tell what the reality of the situation is but as the world has their eyes glued on JLo and Affleck's supposed renewed romance, here's a look back on why they weren't successful in their pursuit of love with each other in the first place. 

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Actors Ben Affleck and fiancee Jennifer Lopez attend the 75th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater on March 23, 2003 in Hollywood, California (Getty Images)

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were engaged

JLo and Affleck got engaged in November 2002 and their wedding was set to happen the following year in September but they couldn't follow through with their plans. "Excessive media attention" forced them to postpone their wedding just days before they were set to walk down the aisle in Santa Barbara, a decision that left their fans shocked. 

"Due to the excessive media attention surrounding our wedding, we have decided to postpone the date," the couple shared in a joint statement back then. "When we found ourselves seriously contemplating hiring three separate 'decoy brides' at three different locations, we realized that something was awry." The next year the couple parted ways after 18 months of being together and approximately three months of courtship. 

Actor Ben Affleck (L) and his fiancee actress/singer Jennifer Lopez attend the Los Angeles Lakers v. San Antonio Spurs playoff game at the Staples Center May 11, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)

Jennnifer Lopez ended the engagement with Ben Affleck

JLo and Affleck's break up had gained major traction from the media and there were a number of articles making various claims about what could've happened. Reports said everything from Affleck's lack of desire to settle down JLo's anger over his partying way and "wandering eye". The pop star decided to put an end to rumors by issuing a short statement through her representatives to PEOPLE. “Jennifer Lopez has ended her engagement to Ben Affleck. At this difficult time, we ask that you respect her privacy," the statement read.

Affleck's camp too was quick to follow suit. Her rep at the time, Ken Sunshine told New York's Daily News, “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.” Affleck was spotted getting pizza in West Hollywood and was immediately hounded by photographers who asked him to comment but he avoided saying anything. 

Actor Ben Affleck kisses fiancee, actress Jennifer Lopez at the 75th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater on March 23, 2003 in Hollywood, California.  (Getty Images)

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck began to address their breakup in 2008

Affleck was the first to speak about the end of his very public relationship. In an interview on the British TV show Live in 2008, he said, "I think Jen and I made a mistake in that we fell in love, we were excited and maybe too accessible." Further explaining the situation, he said, "I don't think either of us anticipated the degree to which it would take on a world of its own."

In 2016, JLo spoke to The Jess Cagle Interview saying the pressure of being in a relationship in the public glare is what led to their end as a couple. "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... I think different time different thing, who knows what could've happened, but there was a genuine love there," she said.