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I got back with my ex like Jennifer Lopez & Ben Affleck & it failed – sex is amazing but problems never disappear

THEY say the first love is the deepest – which might explain why so many of us end up going back to them.

But I know from experience that you should never go back to an ex.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in 2023[/caption]
The young couple in love the first time around in 2003[/caption]

I married my first boyfriend several years after we broke up, just like Jennifer Lopez, 54, and Ben Affleck, 51 — who married in 2022, 20 years after calling off their first engagement, and are now reportedly in the midst of another break up.

I met David* when we were just teenagers at college in my hometown, Birmingham.

He was the first guy I had slept with and we experienced so many other firsts together too.

We had enjoyed a steamy on-off relationship until our early 20s, when our young love ran its course and we split — only to reconnect several years later.

Our rollercoaster love story timeline was spookily similar to J- Lo and Ben’s.

Their two-year romance was ignited in 2001 on the film set of Gigli, when Jennifer was 32 and Ben three years younger.

It ended in 2004, but they reunited 17 years later in July 2021 and wed a year later.

Now rumours are swirling that their ­marriage has been over for months, with the couple living apart since March.

I totally get why J-Lo fell for the fairytale of marriage and living happily ever after with Ben.

When someone comes back into our lives, it is as if it is written in the stars.

I know I felt that way over the 20 years I was in and out of a relationship with my former flame.

I’m 53 yet I can recall with absolute precision the day he asked me out when we were love-struck 17-year-olds.

We had much in common, both lovers of Depeche Mode and John Irving novels.

We got to know one another during evenings which revolved around walking to and from each another’s homes, learning the names of the constellations together.

I was ­fascinated by them, and he was too.

After our first time sleeping together, a bunch of flowers were delivered the ­following day.

He hadn’t needed to try and impress me because by then I was already in love.

Over the following two years we were pretty much joined at the hip.

During this time my parents got divorced.

Just him being there made all the ­difference in a world that, for me, was no longer as certain as it once was.

Then things changed when I accepted a place at university in London.

I wanted to work in the media and had won a place on a coveted degree course.

On The JLo
Wedding bliss after the pair reunited in 2022[/caption]
The Mega Agency
The stars are now reportedly in the midst of another break up[/caption]

Before I left we spent three weeks in Turkey together.

We looked after each other and we even nursed one another through a joint bout of food poisoning.

Just days after I returned, I relocated to London and he stayed in Birmingham.

Naively I assumed nothing would change — but by Christmas we were both seeing other people.

It’s testimony to how well we got on that we even ended up on a double date together at a comedy show.

What our dates thought about it is anyone’s guess.

Samantha Brick and David as teens[/caption]
The couple married on a tropical beach in Australia
Colin Usher
Sam said: ‘The allure of an ex is so overwhelming. You forget what went wrong and focus on their good parts’[/caption]

By the end of my three-year degree, my life was once more spinning out of control.

I wasn’t happy in the relationship I was in. So what did I do?

I called the one person who had been there for me in the past: David.

Within 48 hours I was wrapped in his arms.

A place that wasn’t just unbelievably reassuring — quite simply it was home. Yet he was still at university and I’d landed my first job as a researcher on a London-based current affairs TV series.

We did our best to give it a go in our early 20s, even renting a flat together where he was studying in Brighton.

Found comfort

Once again I found comfort with him — on beach walks, sunset picnics and replaying those nights watching the stars.

We had always been physically compatible between the sheets. That is the thing about former flames. He knew my ­intimate desires better than I knew them myself.

Yet my career was calling. I was fed up with the commute between cities and working late with demanding producers while putting my best foot forward as a girlfriend too.

So I moved back to London. There was never a monumental falling out but we were no longer a couple.

It probably explains why lines of communication remained open during this time.

By my late 20s I was head of entertainment at Sky One. But I was in the office at 8am and networking in Soho every evening after work. I didn’t have time to date.

Yet panic was setting in because everyone I knew was hell-bent on hitting the “married by 30” target we women set ourselves.

One evening, still in my office, I nervously called him. Like “Bennifer”, we kept in touch about one another’s careers and congratulated one another along the way.

If he was surprised to hear me suggesting we gave it another go then he hid it well.

I cringe when I remember what I said: that this time if we got back together it would genuinely be forever.

But we were still those two same, yet very different people.

David has never made work a top priority — I did. His first love was sport, his mates and it probably always will be.

Mutual passion

But our mutual passion for film, theatre, books and India meant being together would be the perfect antidote to my stressful ­professional life.

He wanted time to think about it. But I didn’t have to wait long.

He talked it through with his best friend, who reckoned I was a “bit of a fruit loop” (even today I’m still not sure what he meant) — yet he agreed we should give it a go and arranged to meet up a week later.

I had my hair professionally blow-dried and my legs and bikini line waxed.

I bought new silk underwear and chose his favourite restaurant as the spot to meet — and it was utterly romantic.

Afterwards, we went home together and had mind-blowing sex.

When you fall back into bed with an ex it is usually pretty amazing.

You know their bodies and desires inside out and vice versa.

Satisfying sex means all those love hormones spring into action, bonding you as a couple again.

We fell into a happy relationship from there at age 29 and two years later on holiday in India he proposed.

It was the loveliest moment. On a beach, under the stars, a nod to our decades-old history together. We married less than a year later on a tropical beach in Australia.

But I’m actually ashamed to say that we split less than two years later.


My career won yet again because I couldn’t resist the opportunity of working in Los Angeles.

It is easy for me to take the blame. But a good bit of soul-searching over the years has let me see that the petty ­irritations between us were always there.

People rarely change and the problems that irked you the first time around never go away. I was still career-obsessed.

He was still crackers about sports, ­leaving me a cricket or football widow on most weekends.

In the end, our split was pretty amicable. I genuinely wanted nothing but the best for him. We did an online do-it-yourself divorce.

Before the final paperwork arrived announcing our singledom, he called looking for details of hotels we had stayed in to take his new girlfriend to. I happily sent them over to him.

There is a part of all us women which remains in love with the first person we have ever told we loved (and meant it). Even more so when, like me, it is the first person I slept with.

That is why I totally get that J-Lo and Ben couldn’t make it work.

The allure of an ex is so overwhelming. You forget what went wrong and focus on their good parts.

But unless you address those issues that caused you to split in the first place — then they will always be there and will break you up again.

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