They’re now one of Hollywood’s favorite power couples and will soon be headed down the aisle. But as for how Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez met, well, that story begins more than a decade ago — and is made all the more interesting by the fact both were in serious romantic relationships with other people at the time. In a candid new interview with Sports Illustrated, Lopez confessed that she definitely felt a spark during that initial encounter with her now-fiancé.
In fact, both Lopez and Rodriguez admit to feeling a “frisson.” Lopez joined Rodriguez for his Sports Illustrated cover interview, in which talk inevitably turned to the couple’s history. They were introduced to each other back in 2005 in a tunnel at Shea Stadium. At the time, she was married to singer Marc Anthony and he to Cynthia Scurtis. But there was no denying they shared a spark — a spark which neither acted on, but a spark nonetheless. “We shook hands, and it was this weird electricity for, like, three seconds,” Lopez explained. “Three to five seconds of looking at somebody right in their eyes, and getting stuck.”
Twelve years, three kids, three ended marriages and a whole lot else would pass between them before Rodriguez and Lopez got a chance to chase their initial electricity.
Their chance reconnection occurred when both were at the Beverly Hills Hotel in early 2017. Though, as they tell it, their meet cute almost didn’t happen — Lopez had to interrupt a convo with Michael Strahan and Jamie Foxx that Rodriguez was caught up in, so she could say hello. But before the night ended, their first date was in the works.
However, to say that’s where their happily ever began wouldn’t be entirely accurate. As Lopez shared with SI, the couple’s first official date back at the Hotel Bel Air started awkwardly. An anxious Rodriguez babbled about everything from knowing the powerful talent manager Guy Oseary to having never dated a Latina. “I realized afterwards he was a little nervous, saying all this stuff you would never say on a first date,” Lopez said.
Fortunately, Rodriguez managed to save face — in pretty surprisingly way, to be honest. At some point, he excused himself to go to the restroom. While he was away from the table, Lopez’s phone vibrated. It was Rodriguez, with a spicy message: “YOU LOOK SEXY AS F—K,” he had texted her. And you know what? Lopez wasn’t mad at it, not one bit. “Actually, it was good game, because it was very unexpected and it was super flattering,” Lopez said, adding, “I wasn’t dressed very sexy.”
FWIW, Rodriguez’s game didn’t stop there. After their first date, he sent her a copy of the bestselling book Grit, by Angela Duckworth. Of the subtitle, “The power of passion and perseverance,” he told Lopez, “This just reminds me of you.”
Okay, A-Rod… we see you. Clearly, J-Lo did, too. In a video posted on YouTube in mid-June, Lopez revealed that the pair plans to get hitched next year.