Engagement season may have hit a lull before it picks back up in February, but that doesn’t mean there were some surprising trends on display throughout the past holiday season. While November through December is one of the most popular times to get engaged, most likely given the sheer number of family gatherings that prove to be fertile ground for popping the question. The most notable trend, however, is who is doing the asking.
According to an analysis of Pinterest searches, there has been a notable increase in people searching for ideas for women to propose to their man. This is unrelated to another popular search which has women asking for unique ideas to propose to their girlfriends for those who are in same-sex relationships.
We saw a rise in searches for feminist quotes, girl power tattoos, and even a rise in self-care as it relates to women,” explained Swasti Sarna who comes from the analytic team known as Pinterest Insights. “Women proposing to men may just be the next step in female empowerment.” For many women, however, proposing isn’t so much an issue of feminism, as they often already have plans to tie the knot with their significant other. Many women still seem to want the gesture.
In an informal poll of young men, however, there seemed to be significantly more openness to the idea of their women proposing. After all, when marriage is discussed in advance, much like cohabiting, it’s less of a surprise when the guy pulls out a ring. These days, it’s even a good idea to take your partner ring shopping with you, even if the actual details of the time of exchange are a surprise. In the coming years, it’s likely that we’ll continue to see more women proposing to their partners as the barriers between men and women continue to be broken down.
Ben Affleck Opens Up About His Marriage To Jennifer Garner
As fans, we’ve seen plenty of celebrity couples come and go, but one of the most eye-catching was the whirlwind romance and subsequent ten-year marriage of Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. In recent weeks, Affleck has opened up again about his previous marriage and the biggest regret of his life.
Their Marriage In Shambles
At one point, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck were one of Hollywood’s hottest couples. But all of that came to a raging halt, when it was rumored that Affleck had been cheating with the nanny. Their very public divorce made headlines and for a long time, we didn’t know what Brad was thinking. Now, he’s finally opening up about what happened.
Not Love at First Sight
Despite meeting on the set of Pearl Harbor, sparks didn’t fly between Garner and Affleck right away. The two got along fine but they had other interests at the time and didn’t generally get to know each other too well. For one, Garner was married at the time to actor Scott Foley, who is recognizable from shows like Scandal and Scrubs and movies such as Scream 3. The marriage between the two of them lasted from 2000 to 2004.
Affleck and Garner crossed each other’s paths again in 2002 when they co-starred in Daredevil. Affleck played the titular character while Garner took up the role of Elektra, a role that would earn its own spinoff movie later. Despite the fact that Garner was still married and Affleck was dating Jennifer Lopez, he states that this set is where they really started to fall in love. Despite this assertion, Affleck proposed to Lopez a few months after filming.
From 2001 to 2005, Jon Favreau hosted a show called Dinner for Five. The premise involved a rotating cast of celebrities enjoying dinner and drinks together. Garner and Affleck were on the show together in January of 2003. Both actors had significant others at the time, but many viewers noted that the sparks between the two were obvious. Even a writer for Vulture commented that the genuine gratitude and affection between Garner and Affleck “still makes me a bit uncomfortable to see it on television.”
Garner Becomes Single
It wasn’t long after the episode of Dinner for Five premiered that Garner and Foley announced their separation and imminent divorce. Many fans were sad to see the marriage end and the couple was likely just as sad as any couple finding themselves in the middle of a breakup. However, before rumors could fly too freely, Foley made sure that TV Guide knew that infidelity wasn’t an issue in the relationship. As he put it, “There was no other relationship, there was no infidelity, nothing. People get divorced.”
Garner’s Side of the Story
Garner didn’t speak on the separation for a while – not as soon as Foley was comfortable giving an interview anyway. However, she did open up about her divorce in 2013 to Allure Magazine, well after it was finalized. She also stood by the story that there wasn’t any catalyst like infidelity that played a role in their relationship. As she stated, he was a good guy but – as many couples do – they eventually just imploded and had to go their separate ways.
Affleck and J. Lo
Of course, when Garner and Foley divorced, Affleck was still engaged to musician and actress Jennifer Lopez. Yet, this was another star-studded couple that wasn’t meant to last either. It was about a year later when the two called off their engagement. Lopez also didn’t open up about the break up right away. She did an interview with Vanity Fair years later in which she spoke about how hard the split was and how much it brought her sense of self and career into question at the time.
Beginning of an Era
The two former costars didn’t jump into anything right away – at least not in the public eye. As all parties attested, there was no grand affair leading up to the two breakups, so it isn’t so surprising in retrospect that Affleck and Garner didn’t show up holding hands the next day. They first stepped out as a couple in public on October 23, 2004. The couple was photographed at the World Series during a Boston Red Sox game getting cozy in the public eye.
One of the hardest things for actors is the constant traveling that their jobs demand. However, Garner and Affleck were determined that distance would be no obstacle to their new relationship. Only a few weeks after the World Series game, Affleck had to travel to Vancouver to work on the film Man About Town. That’s when Us Weekly reported that Garner had visited him, even including a cute picture of the couple in the rain.
Things Stayed Quiet
Despite these two reported events, the couple didn’t have a lot of press after this for a bit. This was because both actors, despite enjoying massive success at the time, kept the relationship exceptionally quiet. Only a few weeks after the World Series game, Affleck had to travel to Vancouver to work on the film Man About Town. That’s when Us Weekly reported that Garner had visited him, even including a cute picture of the couple in the rain.
The Wait Wasn’t Long
For fans that were eager to hear what the couple was up to, they didn’t have to wait too long. In April 2005, the pair was in Los Angeles to celebrate Garner’s 33rd birthday with plenty of friends and family. Only a few weeks after the World Series game, Affleck had to travel to Vancouver to work on the film Man About Town. That’s when Us Weekly reported that Garner had visited him, even including a cute picture of the couple in the rain.
Private Relationship, Private Wedding
Today, we’re fairly used to celebrity weddings being media spectacles. The private couple didn’t break their old practices, though, when they decided on an incredibly small and unsurprisingly private wedding. In fact, aside from the bride and groom, only two people were in attendance. This included Garner’s co-star from Alias, Victor Garber, who officiated the wedding and his husband. Garber later recounted the day as one of the “most special events of my life.”
It’s a Girl!
Shortly after the wedding, the couple announced Garner’s pregnancy with their first child. Word first spread of the story in May, and the pregnancy was even written into Garner’s role on Alias. The world first learned that they were expecting a daughter in September when Garner let it slip on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. On December 1, 2005, Garner’s spokeswoman and Affleck’s publicist confirmed the news that daughter Violet was born. Private as usual, the only information given at the time was that mother and daughter were both healthy.
After Violet, the couple didn’t stop trying to grow their family either. In 2008, there was once again news that the couple was expecting another little one. In January 2009, Garner gave birth to another daughter that the couple named Seraphina Rose. Again, further news on the baby was scarce as Garner and Affleck protected themselves and their children from the public eye.
One More Time
The couple was destined to grow their family by one more. Only a couple of years later, Garner announced another pregnancy. In February of 2012, the pair welcomed their third child into the world. This time, Violet and Seraphina got a little brother and Affleck and Garner greeted their first son. With their usual privacy, the couple introduced Samuel Garner Affleck to family and friends. This time, Affleck also announced the birth of the baby on Facebook.
Plenty of Public Doting
As the pair got further into their marriage and their family, fans got to see a little more public adoration between the pair. This especially came from Affleck, whose career was getting plenty of attention at the time. One of the most notable comments at the time came from Affleck at the 2013 Golden Globes. When he won the award for Best Director for Argo, he thanked Garner with the sentiment, “I adore you, I love you. You’re my everything.”
The Adoration Continued
This wasn’t Affleck’s only doting public comment about his wife either. He mentioned Garner again in an interview in December 2013. When he sat down with Playboy, he got candid about his experience with Garner. Over the course of the interview, he mentioned Garner and said that she was, “by leaps and bounds the most important person to me.” It gave fans the impression that the couple’s marriage was picture-perfect.
A Story Breaks
Unfortunately, the ideal picture of marriage didn’t last for long. In June 2015, Affleck was vacationing with Garner and his family when he stepped out for a bit for a charity poker tournament. According to Us Weekly, he took the family’s nanny, Christine Ouzounian, with him. A month later, the same magazine gave readers an update on the story. Sources claimed that Affleck had been dating the nanny, then 28 years old, for a while. This insinuated that their trip was a romantic one.
Affleck himself didn’t speak about the accusations right away. Rather, a representative responded to the outlet’s claims for him calling the story “garbage and full of lies.” They also stated that Affleck’s team was looking at legal options. Later on, the official story from Affleck’s team was that, yes, the pair struck up a romantic bond but only after the separation of Garner and Affleck – albeit before the final divorce. Once again, Affleck firmly denied any infidelity.
The End of an Era
After the story broke, fans watched to see what the couple would do in response. They didn’t have to wait long either. Only days after the story leaked, the couple announced their separation and pending divorce. The couple released a joint statement to PEOPLE about the situation in what they said would be their only public comment. They stated that it was a difficult decision, they were going forward with compassion for another, they were dedicated to co-parenting, and they plead for privacy.
It wasn’t until 2016 that Garner made a public comment on the divorce, which isn’t surprising given their commitment to their original statement. She eventually sat down with Vanity Fair and opened up about the situation. She made it clear that the story on the nanny wasn’t the culprit no matter how convenient the timing seemed. Chalking the situation with the nanny up to “bad judgment,” Garner stated that she wasn’t part of the equation.
So, What Was It?
Garner did offer up a more personal narrative on the divorce, although, it was characteristically devoid of any telling details. She stated that they had been separated for months before the story broke and before they announced their separation to the world. She also stated warmer facts as well. She called Affleck the “love of her life” and described him as “the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous.” Ultimately, she summed him up with “He’s just a complicated guy.”
A Sliver of Hope
In 2017, fans had a sliver of hope that the Hollywood power couple might not call it quits. Once again, PEOPLE weighed in on the situation and cited an unnamed source with breaking news. The source claimed that the two had called off their upcoming divorce. However, they also claimed that the couple wasn’t back together. Instead, they simply stated that the two were giving things another try and working on their issues.
Affleck Makes an Announcement
In March, it seemed that there was hope that the pair were working on their differences. At the very least, it seemed as though Affleck was working on personal self-improvement in regard to his struggle with addiction. He even publicly shared as much on Facebook. He stated that he’d been through treatment for personal demons he’d been fighting and that he was striving to continue his road to recovery. He even cited Garner in his post saying that she supported him and was an excellent co-parent.
The Inevitable Came
Despite many fans’ hopes, the couple didn’t end up lasting. Nearly two years after their initial separation announcement, the two announced that they were officially filing for divorce. The announcement was first broke by TMZ. The two still remained civil, though. The outlet reported that they were seeking joint custody of their kids in both the legal and physical sense in their effort to effectively co-parent the three of them. With a legal process to work out, their divorce wasn’t quite finalized yet.
By July 2017, Affleck reemerged to the world in a new relationship. According to reports, he started dating Lindsay Shookus months after moving out and filing for divorce with Garner. This marked his first public relationship since the separation from Garner. Lindsay Shookus was and still is a producer for Saturday Night Live. When the report released, there wasn’t much clear information on how the pair met and neither confirmed the rumors after they were spotted together.
Shookus and Affleck weren’t meant to be, though. They didn’t date for long before reports circulated that the pair had broken up. It was only about a year after they were first reported as a couple that People confirmed their split. Once again, the two remained amicable. In fact, they were even photographed together after their breakup, and Affleck has gone on to host the popular sketch comedy show multiple times over his career.
It’s Finally Official
As we mentioned earlier, divorce is never a quick and seamless process. It takes time to go through the legal process. Many couples have well-established separate lives by the time their divorces are final. The same was true for Garner and Affleck. They finalized their divorce on October 5, 2018. This meant that their divorce process took a total of about three years from their initial separation announcement. This marked the final and definite end of a decade-long marriage, but the two continue to remain civil.
Affleck’s Recent Success
Today, Affleck is making headlines once again for his starring role in a new movie called The Way Back. The movie sets Affleck as a basketball coach who struggles with addiction which, in turn, negatively affects his marriage, career, and life overall. Of course, Affleck has been quick to note the similarities he felt between his character and his off-screen life. This has led him to open up even further about his past – including his marriage to Garner.
His Biggest Regret
One of the biggest taglines that outlets have picked up from Affleck’s recent interviews is his admission that the biggest regret of his life is his divorce from Garner. He went on to state that he still cares deeply for Garner and that she’s helped him over the years. Throughout the course of the interview, he states that he blames his “compulsive behavior” for putting a strain on their marriage towards the end. However, he also states that Garner has been instrumental on his road to recovery and he’s grateful to her.
A Hard Scene
Affleck states that one of the hardest things to film in The Way Back is a scene in which his character breaks down and apologizes to his wife. It would be hard to act out a scene with dialogue such as “I failed our marriage” if you’re that personally in-touch with the character. Sources close to him and even Affleck himself stated that the actor had a “total breakdown” of his own after filming the scene. Ultimately, he described the scene as a therapeutic exercise as well as a piece of artistry.
Garner hasn’t made any huge interviews in response to Affleck’s admission which isn’t too surprising. She has, however, quietly expressed her support of her ex-husband who is also a current friend. She’s stated over the years and re-stated recently that she’s proud of him for the progress he’s made and she’s there to support him. Sources have also reported that she said she’s “touched by his honesty” and surprised by the sentiment.
Garner’s Current Relationship
We’ve mentioned a lot about Affleck’s relationships over the years here, but it’s worth noting that Garner hasn’t been left out either. She’s currently in a relationship with John Miller who talented in his own right. If you aren’t familiar with him, Miller holds plenty of titles. He’s listed as a musician, artist, and writer. In addition, he’s also the CEO of a company called Cali Group which focuses on improving both the retail and restaurant industries.
They’re Characteristically Private
After seeing two of Hollywood’s most popular names keep a ten-year marriage so private, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Garner and Miller are rather private people as well. They’re openly in a relationship but that’s about all we know. The two have stated that they’ve bonded over shared experiences such as going through a divorce and co-parenting kids. They’ve been photographed together in public but Miller isn’t one to attend red carpet events.
They Aren’t In Any Rush
While Garner and Miller are happy together, the couple also doesn’t seem to feel pressured to rush into anything. They’re both focused on their kids and their careers and are rightfully happy just enjoying each others’ company when they can. The couple has been together for more than a year but fans shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for wedding bells to ring. The two are happy just enjoying what they have and taking things at their own pace.
Miller and Affleck’s Interview
After hearing your girlfriend’s ex-husband say that their divorce was his biggest regret, it’s understandable that you might have some feelings on the matter. Despite the fact that Miller isn’t as in the public eye as Affleck, he has given his opinions. Generally, he states that he’s happy that the two are there for each other and that they support one another. He has shared his concerns over how the press will pull Garner into the matter and some sources have stated he’s uncomfortable with the interviews.
Affleck Is Past Shame
While he’s ready to admit what he did wrong and confess to mistakes he’s made, Affleck did make sure to warn about the power of shame in his recent interview. He points out that while shame is a way to see what went wrong and admit transgressions, he also warns that it’s a dark pit to get sucked into. He says it’s been a journey to look back on his divorce and not get sucked into a “vicious cycle” but that he’s ready to move forward.
What Else Is Affleck Doing?
If you’re interested in catching Affleck in more than just his upcoming movie, don’t worry! There’s plenty more that you’ll be able to catch him in soon. Aside from The Way Back, he’s also going to be in a movie called Deep Water this year. Next year, you can expect to see him in the Ghost Army. He’s also the director of the latter.
What’s Garner Up to?
Jennifer Garner’s career is also thriving today. She’s slated to play in Yes Day soon. She’ll also be involved in this project as a producer for a role behind the camera! She’s also slated for other roles as well, many of which don’t have official release dates yet. This includes My Glory Was I Had Such Friends and Fantasy Camp.
Overall, the romance between Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner was real. This also means that the struggle that divorce caused was genuinely heartbreaking as well. However, both parties are ready to move forward with their lives. They continue on with a strong bond, both as friends and as co-parents. They’ve shown that they are there for each other and we doubt we’ll see this change anytime soon.