Bennifer is official — again.
In only three months, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez (better known by the portmanteau “Bennifer”), went from former fiances to Instagram-official couple.
The rekindled pair went public with their relationship Saturday in a post celebrating Lopez’s 52nd birthday.
In a series of photos captioned “5 2 … what it do …💗,” the singer shared images of herself sporting an orange bikini aboard a yacht (more on that later) in St. Tropez, France. The last photo in the series showed her and her new (old?) beau sharing a passionate smooch. Cue the Internet exploding.
I need to take a personal day off of work to unpack why I thought "This is huge for us!" when I saw the new photo of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.— Josh Gondelman (@joshgondelman) July 25, 2021
it’s very obvious that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are milking this and putting on a show for the media, and it’s 1000% working and I’m PSYCHED— Natalie Shure (@nataliesurely) July 25, 2021
jlo doing a boyfriend reveal on her birthday at the end of a photo dump of solo bikini pics ...... it's giving leo season— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) July 24, 2021
Later that night, the couple continued the PDA at Lopez’s birthday party at L’Opéra restaurant, where they snuggled up despite being surrounded by friends and fans. The evening didn’t end there, though. Next they were seen sharing a kiss on their way back to the reportedly $130 million yacht, according to the Daily Mail.
During the festivities, DJ Hugo M played Lopez’s 2002 hit “Jenny From the Block,” the music video for which featured a steamy scene between the now-reunited pair. Of course, Lopez sang along.
The time machine came full circle when “TMZ” snapped a photo of Affleck, who grew up in Cambridge, striking a pose aboard the birthday yacht that was eerily reminiscent of a scene from the 19-year-old video. Was this a purposeful homage to their romance of yore? Or is the image just another invasive paparazzi shot? You be the judge.
It’s been a long road back to love for the two A-listers. The couple, who starred together in the films “Gigli” (2003) and “Jersey Girl” (2004), got engaged in November 2002. In January 2004, they broke it off, which was Lopez’s “first big heartbreak,” as she recalled in her memoir.
Since then, they’ve both pursued other long-term relationships. Affleck, 48, wedded actress Jennifer Garner. And Lopez said “I do” to singer Marc Anthony just five months after her split with Affleck. Both couples had children — three for Affleck and two for Lopez — before the marriages ultimately ended in divorce.
More recently, they shouldered pandemic-era breakups — Affleck with “Knives Out” star Ana De Armas in January, and Lopez with former Yankees star Alex Rodriguez in March following a two-year engagement. Bennifer has been unlucky in love indeed.
The onetime power couple was reported to be spending more time together in early May, and soon dashed off for vacation in Montana. Before long, photographers caught Affleck spending the night at J. Lo’s house. The pair was also spotted going to Universal Studios Hollywood with their kids and touring a $65 million mansion in Los Angeles.
Despite their nearly two decades apart, it seems like this time around might be different for the lovebirds. In early July, Us Weekly published an article in which a source said the pair is quickly getting serious.
“They’re fully committed to taking the next steps and spending the rest of their lives together,” the source said, adding that this time there’s “not a single doubt” about making it work. “Everything that went wrong in the past can only serve them in a positive way this time around.”
After the whirlwind weekend, J. Lo took a stroll around Monaco City Monday morning sporting a special accessory — a necklace spelling out the name “Ben.” Maybe, just maybe, this romance is here to stay.
Dana Gerber can be reached at email@example.com