Jennifer Lopez has been making me feel inadequate.
Not because of her incredible musical prowess, killer dance moves or superhuman work ethic. Nor is it down to her multiple mansions, the millions in the bank, the washboard abs or the fact that the normal rules of ageing don’t seem to apply to her.
Nope, it’s none of the above.
It’s her engagement to Ben Affleck. There’s something about the way Bennifer are galloping through the relationship milestones of mini-breaks, family blending and house hunting at breakneck speed that makes real-world unions, like mine, feel staid by comparison.
Ditto their recent flashy engagement. J Lo is now sporting a diamond so big it requires its own postcode. Previous to that there have been public declarations of love and splashy displays of affection on yacht trips and multiple outings with compliant-looking children.
From the outside Jennifer and Ben’s courtship is high octane on fast-forward and all-consuming. I (and perhaps you) am transfixed by these reunited lovers. It’s the stuff of romcoms ‒ the beautiful people, once thwarted, but now back in each other’s arms. They are the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton of the new millennium.
To those of us who buy into fairy tales, Bennifer represents a hedonistic love; a union full of drama and one that knows no limits.
This is the kind of romance that we have been taught to view as ideal by novels, films, advertising and now social media, but it has the effect of making anything less feel pedestrian.
I got together with my boyfriend at the same time as Jennifer got it back on with Ben. In our case, though, kids, jobs, logistics, life, some emotional battle scars– and, well, rational thought processes – mean we are going at our own pace.
Does this show that our relationship is less than? Actually, when I consider it, no. I feel very happy with our commitment to one another and my heart knows that J Lo and Ben’s speeded-up relationship is statistically unlikely to end well.
A rushed relationship is a well-trodden celebrity path: Renée Zellweger and Kenny Chesney married after four months; Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee knew each other for 96 hours before walking down the aisle.
You wouldn’t even know someone’s middle name by then, let alone how they take their tea. They could easily be hiding the fact they leave their toenail clippings in the bath, eat like a half-starved hog or talk about themselves in the third person.
So why do famous people do it? Perhaps it’s because celebrity lives are so dramatic they require their romances to be equally extreme to give them even a hit of excitement.
Maybe they crave the ultimate commitment to appease their egos, or are so insecure they need to lock down the relationship quickly.
Not one of these reasons screams ‘happily ever after’, does it?
As for getting back together with your ex? That’s the stuff of movies, too (although is there a single soul who wouldn’t like to see the reunion of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston?), but the reality is not so hot. I came across some research that says each time you get back together with your ex, relationship satisfaction goes down. You are a little less happy.
Considering all of the above, I’d say mine and the boyfriend’s measured way is 100 per cent healthier.
So I’m going to take a reality check and remind myself that Bennifer is not a relationship goal after all.
Instead I shall live by the wise saying ‘comparison is the thief of joy’.
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