US actress Jennifer Lopez (R) and US actor Ben Affleck attend Amazon's "This is Me... Now: A Love St...


Breaking Down Jennifer Lopez’s “Dear Ben, Pt. II” — By Comparing It To The Original

Growth, maturity, and a lot more platitudes about love.

After a decade away, J.Lo is back with new music. The veteran superstar has released her ninth studio album This Is Me…Now, the long-awaited sequel to her 2002 breakout, This Is Me… Then. And — surprise! — just like the original, there’s a “Dear Ben, Pt. II,” the continuation of her first lavish ode to her beloved fiancé at the time, a fact that might make longtime J.Lo followers either swoon or cringe (considering their whirlwind romance tragically came to an end a few years after the original’s release).

But Lopez (and Affleck) have both grown in age, and presumably, wisdom, a fact you can indeed detect on the song. Below, we examine the lyrics of the latest to see how it compares to the original.

“Sitting here alone, looking at my ring, ring/ Feeling overwhelmed, it make me wanna sing, sing/ How did we end up here without a rewind?/ Oh my, this is my life”

In the opening lyrics, Lopez expresses joy, disbelief, and feeling overwhelmed, i.e. a healthy, nuanced palette of emotions about their relationship. We think this is clear progress from the original’s insane opener: “You’re perfect.”

“Look down at my phone and there's your caller ID/ Seeing all the signs and it gets me so high/ You make me sing”

On the 2002 version, Lopez couldn’t stop comparing Affleck’s presence to a drug, singing, “It seems I'm addicted to the way you like to touch me.” Now, she gets high just from the mere sight of his name on her caller ID. We guess some things don’t change!

“And when I think you'll let me down/ You lift my hopes/ And if I try to pull away/ You pull me close”

If you’d listened to the original without knowing who it was about, you’d think Lopez was singing about an all-mighty God (she deems him “perfect” not once, but twice in the song). Now, she is seemingly acknowledging Affleck’s fallibility as a man, which is another point in growth.

“And you remind me why you are/ The man I chose/ These are the things I love the most, oh”

One of the wildest lyrics from the 2002 track is when Lopez calls him everything from “My lust, my love, my man,” to “my child, my friend, and my king.” On the new song she just uses “my man,” which feels like several steps in the healthy-boundaries direction.

“Na-na, na-na, na-na/ Say you love me/ Na-na, na-na, na-na/ Do it again/ Na-na, na-na/ Oh, you love me so, I love you more”

If you didn’t get the memo by now, the way Lopez originally sang about their relationship felt frighteningly one-sided (and even included the interesting lyric, “I don't think they understand/ Why I love at your command.”) Finally, we’re seeing that it’s not just Lopez professing her love but that Affleck also participates in the saying of “I love you.” This might be one of the most important revelations of the song.

“I was missing a part/ You was the missing piece”

Here’s a sweet parallel moment: In 2002, Lopez sang in awe of Affleck, “Baby, you're so complete.” In 2024, she’s recognized that neither are whole without the other. Again, growth!

“Look into your eyes, I can see it's the old you/ I'm committed, I'm in it, admit it, I adore you”

No sarcasm here — this is one of the most wholesome lines of the song. Not only is Lopez acknowledging Affleck as the man who loved and hurt her, she sounds grounded, stable, and solid in her commitment. It’s miles away from the closing lyric of the original, which had her saying that she felt their relationship was “not a reality” and that she’s “living in a fantasy.” On this alone, we can confidently prophesize a much more successful and longer-lasting union between the two.

J. Lo’s ‘This Is Me…Now’ is out now.