Jennifer Lopez Shares Why She Took Ben Affleck's Last Name, Talks Jennifer Garner in Vogue

Jennifer Lopez is getting candid about her whirlwind romance with Ben Affleck

In an interview with Vogue for its December 2022 cover story, the singer-actress opened up about her relationship, detailing why she took Affleck’s last name, recalling Bennifer’s first romance in the early 2000s and sharing how she and Ben were able to rekindle their relationship.

Lopez, 53, and Affleck, 50, first married in July in Las Vegas, before the couple tied the knot again in August at Affleck’s 97-acre estate in the coastal town of Riceboro, Georgia, which was the same location where the duo was originally set to marry back in 2003 following their first engagement.

While J.Lo noted “people are still going to call me Jennifer Lopez,” she’s “proud” of being Mrs. Affleck, describing it as a “power move.”

“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. … It’s not traditional,” she told Vogue. “It doesn’t have any romance to it. It feels like it’s a power move, you know what I mean? 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,” she added. “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.”

The “Marry Me” star went on to discuss her first relationship with Affleck. The two first met way back in 2002 while working on the film “Gigli” together. J.Lo and Ben began dating following the former’s split from Cris Judd. Lopez and Affleck were engaged by November 2002. However, in 2004, they called off the engagement.

“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,” J.Lo recalled. “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.”

Lopez wound up marrying Marc Anthony in 2004, just five months after her split from Affleck. She and Marc welcomed twins Max and Emme in 2008, before they eventually split in 2011. She went on to date Casper Smart and Alex Rodriguez, the latter of whom she was engaged for two years before they called it quits in April 2021. That’s when she started dating Ben again and the two were engaged by April 2022.

According to Vogue, after A-Rod and J.Lo called it quits, Affleck — who had recently split from Ana de Armas — sent Lopez an email. He sent the email after he praised J.Lo while giving a comment in a magazine, and wanted her to know about it. Vogue said the two stayed in contact, and then began visiting each other at home.

Reflecting on the rekindling of their romance, Lopez said, “Obviously we weren’t trying to go out in public. 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…”

“I don’t know that I recommend this for everybody,” she continued, “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,” she added. “You go through all these relationships, and you’re searching and you’re connecting and you’re disconnecting with people, and you’re like, God, is this just what life is? Like a carousel, roller coaster, carnival ride? And then it settles. But the journey to that is the mystery for everybody.”

Affleck also spoke to Vogue, and gushed over his wife, whom he calls “Little” because he’s almost a whole foot taller than her, according to the magazine.

“There is something innately, magically kind and good and full of love at the heart of who Jennifer is,” he said. “That’s exactly the person I remember from 20 years ago. Maybe she sees all the changes she’s made, whereas when I see her, mostly I just see someone who has retained, against the odds, the thing about her that always made her the most incredible to me: a heart that seems boundless with love. She is my idea of the kind of person I want to be.”

Meanwhile, J.Lo also offered a comment about Affleck’s ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, with whom he was married from 2005 to 2018. The former couple shares three children: Violet, 16, Seraphina, 13, and Samuel, 10.

Lopez described Garner as “an amazing co-parent,” noting that the actress and Affleck “work really well together.”

“The transition is a process that needs to be handled with so much care,” she explained of blending households with Ben. “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.”

The December 2022 issue of Vogue hits newsstands on November 15.

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