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The aughts are back. And with it comes the revival of one of the 2000’s favorite couples: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck (a.k.a. Bennifer 2.0).
It’s a been a while, so here’s a refresher: Jen and Ben first got together after filming Gigli in 2002 and what a time it was. J.Lo celebrated their love with her song “Dear Ben” on the This Is Me album, and he was in the “Jenny From The Block” music video, too. Then, they got engaged later that year. But, just days before the epic nuptials were supposed to happen, they called it off. Soon after, they ended their relationship altogether. Since then, each has gotten married, had kids, and gotten divorced. Fast forward to 2021, and J.Lo almost married Alex Rodriguez, while Ben dated Ana de Armas. Following their respective breakups, however, Jen and Ben rekindled their spark.
Nearly 20 years since the power couple parted ways, no one saw Bennifer 2.0 coming, but like the best of trends, it’s been a hit. Apparently, the couple thinks so, too, because the PDA’s been on full display. (Hey, no one’s mad at it.)
In fact, it’s a good thing, and that’s coming from someone who knows everything there is to know about public displays of affection, Karen Donaldson. The body language expert took a look at the couple’s moves since getting back together, and all signs point to smooth sailing on this ‘ship. Thing is, they’ve called it quits before, so Donaldson analyzed their gestures to determine whether or not they’re in this for the long haul. Find all her conclusions ahead.
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1 They’re as close to each other as they’ve ever been.
“When we hold hands like this we are trying to maximize the amount of skin to skin contact we have with the other person, so we can be as close as possible to one another,” says Donaldson.
Sure, J.Lo and Ben are smiling and she’s looking at him with this adoring look, but their hands are the biggest giveaway. Palm-to-palm touch, says Donaldson, and intertwining fingers with someone’s joins some of the most sensitive parts our bodies. Plus, “research shows that touch, like holding hands, releases oxytocin, the feel-good hormone,” says Donaldson.
Despite the paparazzi surrounding them, Ben and Jennifer actually are this taken with each other and not just playing it up for the cameras.
2 They’re all in this time.
Lack of space between couples means they’re bonded to each other, says Donaldson: “[Jennifer and Ben] are hip-to-hip and groin-to-groin with no space between the two of them, which showcases their deep connection.”
On top of that, Ben’s arms are slung over J.Lo’s shoulders, which Donaldson calls a major protective move. “This type of hug provides reassurance,” she explains. “The way in which J.Lo hugs Ben around his lower back is an intimate and romantic type of hug, which tells us that she is at ease in his presence.”
3 When they’re together, they make it a priority to be present.
Once again, they’re all pressed up against each other, and Donaldson’s all for it. Since you already know what that body language means, Donaldson focuses on analyzing Jen and Ben’s closed eyes.
“When people close their eyes when kissing it allows them to focus on and thoroughly be present in the moment,” she says. At the Met Gala—where they were surrounded by tons of celebs and photographers—Jennifer and Ben carved out a moment for themselves. And considering how bonded they are (remember: the lack of space between their bodies tells us that), this is likely something they do a lot.
4 After all these years, they still balance each other out.
“In this image J.Lo is taking the lead when walking,” Donaldson points out. It’s also a big sign that her hand is covering Ben’s. This tells Donaldson that J.Lo takes charge when their relationship needs her to.
Donaldson can also tell Ben likely does the same for her, because of the look of hesitation on J.Lo’s face. “She is looking to Ben for reassurance at this moment,” Donaldson says. “Ben’s stature is upright with his chest open, and his facial expression tells us that he’s ready to defend.”
5 Ben’s proud to be back with Jennifer.
“Ben possesses a confident stance as showcased with his hand in his pocket, telling us that he is confident in his relationship with J.Lo,” according to Donaldson.
By touching the small of Jennifer’s back, Ben is showcasing affection and desire—something he wants everyone watching them to know he feels for J.Lo. He’s proud they’re back together. (And, I mean, wouldn’t you be if you were in his position?!)
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