Break-your-ankle platform boots are walking their way back to hearts, Avril Lavigne has a new album out, and, perhaps, most puzzling of all, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are engaged … to each other. Sweet. 2002 is back, baby!
How did we get here? Let’s journey back to the humble beginnings of the Bennifer love story for answers. It was January 2002. America was still healing from one of its worst years on record. At the same time, two Hollywood stars provided the distraction some needed by going public with a romance that fueled early-tabloid culture. (Of course, that depends on which timeline you believe.) What we do know is Lopez and Affleck met on the set of Gigli, a Martin Brest-directed film that went on to earn the title of “most expensive box-office bomb” in history and a 6% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
It was a whirlwind affair. After months of “are-they-aren’t-they,” on July 26, Lopez filed for divorce from then-husband Cris Judd after a brief separation period — just two days after being photographed kissing Affleck at his surprise birthday party, according to Vulture’s account. By November 2002, Affleck could be seen all over MTV in Lopez’ now-infamous music video for “Jenny From the Block,” and the public could see the stunning pink diamond engagement ring he gifted the pop star. But their love couldn’t survive the gossip machine, much like the ill-fated movie that brought them together. Or so we thought.
Fast-forward to 2021. By now, more marriages, new babies and a global pandemic have happened. In April, Affleck is seen going back and forth from Lopez’ Los Angeles mansion. Following another game of “we’re just friends” and a recreation of the “Jenny From the Block” yacht scene, on April 8, 2022 Lopez tearfully confirmed her engagement to Affleck, flashing a green engagement ring.
Reuniting with an ex can be compelling. There’s a shared familiarity, and hopefully a well-cultivated self-awareness has occurred during the time apart. But it also comes with risks. Remember, there was a reason for the split — whether that was personality clashes, toxic behavior, poor communication, etc. This applies to professional connections as well, and it’s a topic we’re exploring in this month’s feature titled, “The Ex Factor: When should you break up with a customer?”
The print and promo industry is built on relationships, so cutting ties is often a last resort. We’ve all been there: Your new client seems great at first, but red flags soon appear, and the loving feeling is lost. Or, maybe you just don’t work well together and still want to be friends. How you handle these situations is telling.
As supply chain struggles and skyrocketing inflation continue, it’s even more important to find clients who will work with you rather than against you. For those who put in the work, you may not get rewarded with colorful diamonds the size of Affleck’s head, but you’ll gain something better — a fulfilling, healthy partnership. Hopefully. If not, leave the block.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.