After nearly a year of dating and countless walks around the block, not-so-subtly toting various Dunkin’ Donuts menu items, news broke that the unimaginatively named BenAna was no more: Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas have split.
Their breakup is playing out much like their relationship did, with their drama being thrown into my face every time I open up IG. Am I surprised they broke up? No. Am I surprised at how their very public breakup is playing out? A little. Tbh, I’d expect something like this from like, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello. (Maybe it’s just because they, too, were fond of staged quarantine walks.)
Then again, should I be taken aback by this high school-esque post-breakup behavior (ill-advised haircuts and all)? Let’s take a look back. When they first started dating, Ana told her friends Ben is “the best boyfriend ever”. The couple even got matching necklaces. (At least they had the common sense not to get tattoos.) I wouldn’t be surprised if Ana made a shirt that said “I <3 Ben” and wore it under all her clothes.
A source told PEOPLE that their split was “mutual” and “completely amicable”, but if this is considered a friendly breakup, then all of my exes and I are best friends. For one, sources report that Ana was the one who initiated the breakup, and she did so via phone call. Is this 2008, and are we Joe Jonas? Ben and Ana have been together for a year, and Ana lives with the man! You’re telling me that she couldn’t have given him a heads up in person on her way out the door? She has to grab her sh*t anyway.
While the source insisted, “there is deep love and respect there”, Ben’s trash bin says otherwise. Yesterday, Ben’s cardboard cut-out of Ana was spotted being thrown out outside his home. The guy didn’t even bother to mask the fact that it’s Ana; he just tossed her nonchalantly for the garbage men, and paparazzi, to see. You’re telling me he couldn’t just burn the cut-out in his backyard? No, this was deliberate.
Ana, for her part, was a little more subtle in communicating her feelings, though we all get the message: she went ahead and surprised the world with some fresh micro bangs. I mean, who among us has not made a tragic and rash hair decision in the throes of a breakup?
So, to quote Cardi B, what was the reason for the split? Did quarantining together finally break the couple? Did they run out of Dunkin’ Donuts menu items to try? Did they simply get tired of taking unmasked walks and pretending to laugh at each other’s jokes? Did the paparazzi stop taking their calls??
For now, the prevailing narrative is that there are no hard feelings. A source told InTouch that the reason for the breakup was because Ana is “gallivanting” around the world without Ben, and it’s left him feeling lost and needy. According to PEOPLE, “Ana doesn’t want to be Los Angeles based and Ben obviously has to since his kids live in Los Angeles.” Another source reported that it’s because Ben doesn’t want any more kids, but Ana does.
The couple met in New Orleans in 2019 while filming the upcoming so-called “erotic thriller” Deep Water, and quickly went on a celebrity relationship press tour: first visiting de Armas’s home country of Cuba in March 2020 (mid-pandemic), and later going to Costa Rica. They were even photographed with Affleck’s children and ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, suggesting everything in the relationship was rosy. But alas, everyone runs out of photo opps eventually, and the relationship was not meant to be.
What’s next for Ben and Ana? Maybe Ben will toss her things on his lawn, or wear a T-shirt emblazoned with a shady message. Perhaps Ana will get together with a new man within the week, one who’s significantly younger than Ben. One thing we can bet on is a seriously uncomfortable press tour for Deep Water (and probably just as bad ticket sales).
Whatever the reason, I’ll miss this couple. Not because I thought they were necessarily a good match, but because their obviously staged paparazzi shoots and vague donut sponcon were a consistent tabloid fixture in these inconsistent times. I’ll stay refreshing Instagram, because I’m sure we haven’t heard the last from this couple, who was just as attention-seeking in their relationship as they are in their breakup. Even though something went wrong for the pair, at least they know how to do one thing right together: keep us entertained.
Images: BG004/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images