It’s an age-old saying: if you love something, let it go — and if it comes back, it’s meant to be.
Well, we loved us some Bennifer back in the early 2000s, and they came back in a BIG way in 2021. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were THE It Couple of the early aughts, basically spawning tabloid culture as we know it (not to mention inspiring the definitive portmanteau “couple name” trend). They got engaged in 2002 but then Ben fell in love with a whole other Jennifer on the set of Daredevil. They canceled their wedding and eventually broke things off for good in early 2004…
Except… it wasn’t for good, because 17 years later, they rekindled their romance. Ben and Jennifer Garner were done, and J.Lo was fresh off her romance with Alex Rodriguez (like, really fresh), but it was definitely done for good after his alleged dalliances with younger reality stars.
This time Ben and Jen were all grown up, had both become parents, and knew exactly what they wanted: each other. Nothing could stop the Bennifer 2.0 train. In an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe in July 2021, Jen said:
“I’ve never been better. And I want my people who care about me … to know that I’ve really gotten to a place in my life where I’m great on my own. And I think once you get to that place, then amazing things happen to you that you never imagine in your life happening again.”
In another Apple chat with Ebro Darden, she added:
“Some things do last forever.”
As it turns out, J-Lo’s wisdom pertains to quite a few famous couples. Scroll on for more celeb romances that made it work after a split:
Adam Levine & Behati Prinsloo
Behati Prinsloo has been Adam Levine’s most reliable muse for years, but they almost ended it all before they ever made it down the aisle. The Maroon 5 frontman had been seeing the Victoria’s Secret Angel for almost a year before they split in May 2013, and he quickly moved on with another model, Nina Agdal.
But by July of that same year, the couple had not only gotten back together, but also became engaged! Reflecting on their relationship with Net-A-Porter in 2020, Behati shared:
“We broke up for two months, realized that it was the worst decision, then got back together, got engaged and got married. It was a wild ride!”
Adam and Behati have now been married more than seven years and have two children together. They haven’t come close to breaking up since. Guess that brief breakup really set them on the right path!
Pink & Carey Hart
Pink and her hubby Carey Hart are another seemingly rock-solid rocker couple, but their longevity was interrupted — multiple times — by brief breakups, before they finally got back together for good. Their first split came in 2003, two years after they met at the 2001 X-Games. The singer later revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that this break lasted “about a year”; after reconciling, they got engaged in 2005 and tied the knot in 2006.
Two years later, the couple split up again, and even went as far as drawing up divorce papers. Pink’s Funhouse album was actually inspired by the heartbreak, but ironically, asking the motocross racer to appear in the So What music video actually lead to another reunion. In 2009, Hart told People:
“We’re rebuilding. Sometimes you have to take a couple of steps backwards to move forward.”
Since then, the artist has been honest about how couples therapy has strengthened their relationship. We have to give them credit, as they’ve been going strong for more than a decade now and have two beautiful kids together.
Justin Timberlake & Jessica Biel
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel met some time in 2007, eventually going public later that year. They were an A-List couple for two years before splitting in March 2011 in what was supposedly a mutual decision. A rep told People at the time that “the two remain friends and continue to hold the highest level of love and respect for each other.”
In the spring of that year, the N*SYNC alum called the actress the “most significant person” in his life in a Vanity Fair piece. By summer, they were spotted hanging out again, and JT proposed by December of that year. They were married in 2012.
The couple has been together ever since, but not without their near-disasters. In 2019, the Grammy winner was forced to apologize when he was photographed at a bar holding hands with Palmer co-star Alisha Wainwright. He wrote on Instagram that he “drank way too much that night” and “should have known better.” Luckily for him, he has a wife who’s far more forgiving than the internet, and the pair welcomed their second son in 2021.
Gabrielle Union & DwYane Wade
Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade were both coming out of divorces when they first met in 2007. Some time between then and their first public appearance together in 2010, they became serious about each other. But the relationship took a step back in January 2013 when they had a brief split.
The Bring It On star told Glamour later:
“[When Dwyane and I broke up briefly in 2013], it was because of distance and scheduling. I finished filming the show [Being Mary Jane], then I flew to Vegas right away to start shooting Think Like a Man Too. I couldn’t take time off, and I missed some quality togetherness we desperately needed.”
The couple were back together by April — but in that time, the NBA star had fathered a child with another woman. While breaking the news to Gabrielle was “the hardest thing” he ever had to do, per his ESPN documentary, it made all the difference. The couple pulled through and were engaged by the end of that year.
Innerestingly, though, the actress admitted during the press tour for her memoir that if the same thing happened today, she wouldn’t have stayed:
Gabrielle Union On Why She Said The Woman She Is Today Wouldn’t Have Stayed With Dwyane Wade: “It’s the truth.” pic.twitter.com/boy3mKVxq2
— Brande Victorian (@Be_Vic) September 21, 2021
Hailey & Justin Bieber
Hailey and Justin Bieber first met when they were teenagers way back in 2009 — but they didn’t spark a romance until 2015. In early 2016, the singer was already pondering the question whether Hailey might be the girl he ends up marrying — but both insisted that the relationship wasn’t “exclusive.”
By summer 2016, things had cooled off entirely. The Biebs ended up rekindling a relationship with his on-again, off-again flame Selena Gomez, and was estranged from his future wife for about two years. Hailey told the Sunday Times:
“[We] went through a long period of time when we weren’t friends. We didn’t speak for quite some time and there was a lot of weirdness that went on.”
After Jelena broke up for the (hopefully!) final time, the Sorry artist reconnected with Hailey at a church conference in Miami in June 2018. After a PDA-filled month, they were engaged by July, and married by September. They ended up having a bigger ceremony later, and ever since, Justin has been one of Hollywood’s biggest Wife Guys.
Katy Perry & Orlando Bloom
Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom reportedly first connected on the dance floor at a Golden Globes after party. They had a year of freewheeling adventures and a much-talked about Halloween couples’ costume (Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, riiiiight before that shocking presidential election) before parting ways in March of 2017. At the time, the pop star tweeted:
“HOW BOUT A NEW WAY OF THINKING FOR 2017?! U can still b friends & love ur former partners! No one’s a victim or a villain, get a life y’all!”
That said, it was a difficult time for Katy, who became clinically depressed in the wake of the split. In 2020, she admitted on SiriusXM’s CBC Radio One:
“My career was on this trajectory when it was going up, up and up, and then I had the smallest shift, not that huge from an outside perspective. But for me it was seismic. I had broken up with my boyfriend, who is now my baby-daddy-to-be, and then I was excited about flying high off the next record and the record didn’t get me high anymore.”
As she mentioned, though, her ex stopped being her ex and instead became her baby-daddy-to-be. They reconciled by February 2018 and were engaged the following year. Although the pandemic interfered with wedding planning, they welcomed their first child together, Daisy Dove Bloom, in August 2020.
Prince William & Kate Middleton
Even royalty can hit a rough patch. These days, we know Prince William and Kate Middleton as the future King and Queen Consort of England, and the consummate Royal Couple. But back in the early 2000s their fairytale ending wasn’t a sure thing. The couple, who met when they were both attending the University of St. Andrews, had been dating for around four years before they broke up in spring of 2007. (According to William and Kate: A Royal Love Story by Christopher Andersen, Will broke up with her on the phone. Yikes!)
Following their engagement announcement some time later, the pair recalled their brief break during an interview with On Demand News. The Duke of Cambridge reflected:
“We were both very young. We were finding ourselves. It was very much trying to find our own way and we were growing up.”
While his future wife admitted:
“At the time I wasn’t very happy about it, but it actually made me a stronger person. You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn’t realized. I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you are younger, and I really valued that time for me as well although I didn’t think it at the time.”
Cardi B & Offset
Hollywood is full of on-again, off-again couples, but Cardi B and Offset‘s roller coaster relationship makes most of them look stable! They first began dating in early 2017, although both of them played coy about each other for months. Shortly after confirming their relationship on social media, though, Cardi announced she was single in October… only to quickly change her mind.
Reasons why me and Offset got into it …I think he stoled my purple blanket ????but it wasn’t him so I’m still looking for the suspect
— Cardi B (@iamcardib) October 22, 2017
Naaa but on a serious note I really loveeeee my man ????he was gifted to me from Jesus ❤️
— Cardi B (@iamcardib) October 22, 2017
Days later, the couple was engaged. They were soon plagued with cheating rumors, but Cardi stood by her man nonetheless, eventually celebrating a secret wedding and later welcoming their first child Kulture Kiari in July 2018.
But that wasn’t the end of their struggles. The Hustlers star once again shared news of a split on social media in December 2018; Offset used his own social media to try to say he missed her, and even crashed her headlining Rolling Loud set in an attempt to win her back.
Whatever the Migos rapper did worked, as the couple apparently reunited by January 2019. They went back to performing together and attending red carpets together and lavishing their daughter with expensive gifts. All seemed well… until September 2020, when Cardi filed for divorce. She claimed it had nothing to do with cheating, or her husband expecting a child with someone else. Uh huh…
But by October, the duo were spotted engaging in PDA, and by November, the divorce case had officially been dismissed. Cardi addressed taking Offset back once again in an Instagram Live, where she said:
“When people be saying I be doing s**t for attention, with this and that, no, I’m just a crazy bitch. One day I’m happy, the next day I wanna beat a n***a up… I just be starting to miss [him]… It’s hard not to talk to your best friend. It’s really hard not to talk to your best friend. And it’s really hard to have no d**k.”
Can’t argue with that! Since then, Cardi and Offset have remained on good terms — and even welcomed their second child in September 2021. Here’s hoping that this happy ending is for good, this time!
[Image via KIKA/WENN.]