The Jennifer Lopez guide to love and marriage in 9 songs

The pop star has used past relationships for inspiration throughout her nearly three-decade career

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The marriage of pop star Jennifer Lopez and actor Ben Affleck is being hailed as renewed hope for those wanting to give love a second chance.

For Lopez, it is as much a new beginning as a return to an experience she mined for inspiration throughout her nearly three-decade career.

All eight solo albums, from the RnB stylings of her 1999 debut album On The 6 to the dance music abandon of 2014’s A.K.A., feature startling ballads and hits showcasing everything from frivolous observations to deep meditations on love and the resilience needed to thrive.

Put together, they form part of a useful blueprint Affleck can follow to keep their reunion an enduring hit. Here are nine songs where J Lo shares her thoughts on love and relationships.

1. ‘If You Had My Love’ (from the 1999 album ‘On The 6’)

If Affleck is serious about doing his part to maintain the relationship, all he needs to do is listen to Lopez’s debut single.

More than being a chart-topping hit, it also acts as a forthright guide on how to keep her love intact.

“Now if I give you me, this is how it’s got to be,” the song begins.

“First of all, I won't take your cheating on me / Tell me who can I trust if I can't trust in you / And I refuse to let you play me for a fool.”

Once that pledge of commitment is out of the way, Lopez wants her man to be open and expressive: “You said you want my love and you've got to have it all / But first, there are some things you need to know / If you want to live with all I have to give / I need to feel true love or it’s got to end.”

2. 'Love Don't Cost a Thing' (from the 2000 album ‘J Lo’)

Let's face it, there is no glittering gift Affleck can give J Lo — wedding ring aside — that she doesn't have or isn't perfectly capable of obtaining herself.

The good thing is, according to this 2000 hit, she appreciates subtler and consistent gestures instead.

"All that matters is that you treat me right / Give me all the things I need, that money can't buy," Lopez sings. "Even if you were broke / my love don't cost a thing.

3. 'Baby I Love U!' (from the 2003 album ‘This is me… Then’)

Reportedly written about Affleck during their initial two-year romance from 2002, the ballad remains vital, with lyrics focusing on taking advantage of life's second chances.

“There comes a time in everyone's life / when you know that everyone around you knows that everything has changed,” Lopez sings.

“You’re not the same, it's a new day / What I wanna know is are you willing to try?”

4. ‘He’ll Be Back’ (from the 2005 album ‘Rebirth’)

Did Lopez still hold a flame for Affleck during the 18 years they were apart?

While the RnB track doesn’t explicitly say so, she expresses pangs of regret and some remorse for her role in a previously doomed relationship.

Apparently, absence makes the heart sadder: “Miss him more as days go by / Try your hardest not to cry / And keep hope alive.”

5. 'Por Arriesgarnos' (from the 2007 album 'Como Ama Una Mujer')

Por Arriesgarnos, which translates to For Risking Ourselves, is taken from Lopez's Spanish album. The fraught ballad speaks of the work relationships need after the initial sugar rush of a new or — in the case of Affleck — reacquainted love is over.

According to Lopez, both parties have to be open about their scars.

"Let's love slowly without excuses, that you and I wanted," Lopez sings. "Come with me, there is nothing left but to love you."

6. 'Stay Together' (from the 2007 album 'Brave')

From On The 6 to Rebirth, Lopez often begins her albums with songs about healthy relationships.

Stay Together, the opening track from Brave, is no different.

An ode to monogamy, she describes the bumps and curveballs as part of the long road to a fulfilling union: "This time is in our favour / This time comes second nature / Heartbreaks are overrated / Stay together, that's the new trend.”

7. ‘Until It Beats No More’ (from the 2011 album ‘Love?’)

Perhaps a strong relationship also comes down to timing.

Released 11 years prior to the reunion with Affleck, the lyrics allude to the situation she was in before reconnecting with the Oscar-winning actor.

"I was down for the count, feeling like I've come to the end," the song begins, before Lopez declares, "but then you crashed through the door, to my soul."

8. ‘First Love’ (from the 2014 album ‘A.K.A.’)

With her last album, Lopez seems at peace with the whirlwind and tabloid fodder of past relationships.

Despite the struggles, she admits to still succumbing to the giddiness that comes with a new romance: "Mistakes I don’t worry about them no more / It ain't no thing, cause you got me up on cloud nine."

9. 'Marry Me' (from the soundtrack of the 2022 movie 'Marry Me')

Perhaps Lopez and Affleck's Las Vegas marriage is not as impulsive as we thought.

Released earlier in the year, the breezy pop of Marry Me speaks of a famous couple tying the knot in the city, to the world's surprise.

"I'ma fly out to Vegas / we could tie it up tonight, no patience,” she sings.

“Take my last name, put it where your name is / Have they ever seen a love this famous?"

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck through the years - in pictures

Updated: July 20, 2022, 7:24 AM