Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez‘s relationship all started with a little tap on the shoulder. In their joint cover story for the December 2017 issue of Vanity Fair, J.Lo and A-Rod (aka J-Rod) shared the story of how they struck up a romance more than a decade after their first meeting.
“It was just one of those things where you feel compelled to do something you wouldn’t normally do,” Lopez said of her approaching Rodriguez while they were lunching at the same restaurant in Beverly Hills last winter. “I almost yelled out ‘Alex,’ but I am the shyest person when it comes to things like that,” she said. “I could literally just have walked away, but I walk over and tap him on the shoulder and say ‘Hey.'” Lopez said that she was dressed “like a boy,” in character as NYPD Detective Harlee Santos for her show Shades of Blue, but Rodriguez took one look at her and said, “You look so beautiful.”
Hours after their chance meeting, Rodriguez called Lopez and invited her to dinner. When they met up a few days later at the Hotel Bel Air, she asked if he remembered the time they had met on the field at a New York Mets game 12 years before. Though she told him, “You don’t have to say you remember if you don’t,” he replied, “Shea Stadium, during a subway series.”
“He was sitting there in his white shirt, very confident and manly, but then he was just so talkative!” Lopez said. “I think he thought I was going to be this loud person, but I’m not. I just listen. So he’s talking, talking about his plans, about how he had just retired from baseball, about how he saw himself getting married again, all these things you wouldn’t normally talk about on a first date.” She continued, “I don’t know if he thought it was a date. I thought it was a date. Then I knew he was nervous because he asked me if I wanted a drink. I said, ‘No, I don’t drink,’ and he asked if I minded if he had one. He was nervous, and it was really cute.”
Rodriguez confirmed that he was, indeed, nervous—but mostly because he wasn’t sure about her relationship status. “I didn’t know if it was a date,” he said. “Maybe we were seeing each other at night because of her work schedule. I went in uneasy, not knowing her situation.” Luckily, he said, “She told me around the third or fourth inning that she was single. I had to get up and go re-adjust my thoughts. I went to the bathroom and got enough courage to send her a text.” The text, they reveal, said, “You look sexy AF.”
Just as things were heating up, however, the restaurant literally started heating up. “It took a turn. The fire alarm went off, and we had to evacuate,” Lopez said. “No, really. The fire alarm went off!” Despite the interruption, the first date went well, and the duo have been going strong ever since: They made their red carpet debut at the Met Gala in May, co-hosted a telethon to benefit Puerto Rico earlier this month, and are now reportedly house-hunting together.
J-Rod opened up about their relationship to VF even further. “We are very much twins,” A-Rod, 42, said. “We’re both Leos; we’re both from New York; we’re both Latino and about 20 other things.” J.Lo, 48, echoed, “I understand him in a way that I don’t think anyone else could, and he understands me in a way that no one else could ever.” She explained: “In his 20s, he came into big success with the biggest baseball contract [at the time]. I had a No. 1 movie and a No. 1 album and made history. We both had ups and downs and challenges in our 30s, and by our 40s we’d both been through so much. And more importantly than anything, we had both done a lot of work on ourselves.”
Jennifer Lopez Has Never Wanted To Blend In:
Jennifer Lopez’s 25 Most Iconic Red Carpet Beauty Moments
At the My Family Hollywood premiere in 1995, Jennifer Lopez wears a simple, tousled up do with natural face and nude lip.
Wearing a glossy, burgundy lip with dark, voluminous tight curls, Lopez attends the Anaconda Westwood premiere in 1997.
At the 1999 VH-1/Vogue Fashion Awards, Lopez wears a sleek up half up do with a silver frosted smoky eye.
At the 1999 MTV Movie Awards, Lopez opts for long, tousled waves with a taupe smoky eye and nude lip.
As one of Lopez’s most iconic moments on the red carpet, the singers paris her jungle green Versace dress with an elegant up do and a jade green smokey eye.
Embellishing her side-swept tousled curls with a floral hair piece, Lopez attends the Enough New York City premiere in 2002.
At the 2004 Costume Institute Gala, Lopez wears a sleek, braided top knot with a vibrant, satin red lip.
Wearing a low pony with full bangs and luminous, sun-kissed skin, Lopez attends the 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards in 2004.
At the Monster-In-Law Los Angeles premiere in 2005, Lopez wears her caramel highlighted bob sleek straight with a nude lip.
At the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, Lopez wears an silver head wrap with a grey smoky eye and coral nude lip.
Back wearing her blonde locks in a softly tousled low pony with bleached brows and a glossy red lip, Lopez attends the 2006 Crystal + Lucy Awards.
At the 2007 Costume Institute Gala, Lopez wears her brunette locks in tousled curls with an embellished hair piece.
Arriving at the Los Angeles premiere of The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button in 2008, Lopez wears her perfectly blown out locks with a bronzed smoky eye.
Wearing her hair in tousled waves with full bangs and a pale pink glossy lip, Lopez attends Japanese designer Samantha Thavasa’s new bag collection in Tokyo in 2009.
At the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards in 2010, Lopez attends wearing her hair in voluminous, tousled waves with a heavy charcoal grey smokey eye.
Wearing her hair in elegant, polished curls with a sleek cat eye, Lopez attends the 2011 Golden Globes after party.
Stunning in all red at the 2011 Costume Institute Gala, Lopez wears her hair in a sleek up do with luminous skin and a glossy cherry red lip.
Attending the Chanel Spring / Summer 2013 show during Paris Fashion Week, Lopez wears a simple up do with a sleek cat eye and a pale pink lip.
At the 2013 Costume Institute Gala, Lopez wears a sleek, elevated up do with a dramatic smoky eye and a glossy nude lip.
At the 2014 American Music Awards, Lopez opts for slicked back waves with a taupe smoky eye and a nude lip.
Wearing her hair in a simple, sleek top knot with radiant skin, Lopez attends the 2015 American Music Awards.
At the 2015 Costume Institute Benefit Gala, Lopez wears a frosted magenta smokey eye with a glossy pink lip.
Radiating at the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards in 2016, Lopez pairs her shoulder length waves with a glossy, burgundy lip.
Wearing her long, brunette locks sleek straight with a light lavender smokey eye, Lopez attends the 59th Grammy Awards in 2017.
Wearing her sleek and polished waves in an elegant up do with a glossy, nude lip, Lopez attends the 2017 Costume Institute Gala.