The 43-year-old former baseball pro covers Sports Illustrated's "Where Are They Now?" issue and, along with his 49-year-old fiancee, sat down for a wide-ranging feature for the outlet. In the interview, Lopez reveals that their spark goes much further back than the 2017 start of their relationship.
The pair met in 2005 at Shea Stadium, when the New York Mets took on Rodriguez's New York Yankees. After meeting in the tunnel -- alongside Lopez's then-husband, Marc Anthony, who was wearing Mets gear -- the trio was photographed on the field together during the singing of the national anthem.
"We shook hands, and it was this weird electricity for, like, three seconds," a then-Yankee-cap clad Lopez recalls of meeting Rodriguez, who was married to Cynthia Scurtis at the time. "Three to five seconds of looking at somebody right in their eyes, and getting stuck."
Though Rodriguez's fascination with Lopez went even further back -- he called her his dream date in a 1998 interview -- a relationship between the pair didn't develop for more than a decade after their 2005 meeting. It all started in 2017 when Lopez approached Rodriguez, who was chatting with Michael Strahan and Jamie Foxx at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which led to a date a few nights later.
According to Lopez's account, Rodriguez's first date skills were a little lacking, with him opting to, in the words of the magazine, launch "into a long, winding, often name-dropping monologue."
"I realized afterwards he was a little nervous, saying all this stuff you would never say on a first date," Lopez says.
When Rodriguez got up to go to the bathroom he texted his date, "YOU LOOK SEXY AS F**K."
"Actually, it was good game, because it was very unexpected and it was super flattering," she says. "I wasn’t dressed very sexy."
Since that first date, the pair have grown together and come to appreciate their differences.
"She knows how to communicate to the masses in ways I never will," Rodriguez says. "She has this platform that’s just ginormous, like 200 million on social, over 75% of them millennials. She just sees it. She helps me out all the time when I’m trying to land a point on something. She’s just a wordsmith."
"I’ve been in the public eye, I’ve navigated the media in a certain way, I’m creative and artistic and have all these skill sets," Lopez praises in turn. "He’s a business-minded guy who knows math and numbers and money and equity and all that stuff -- like, EBITDA, right? What I was missing, he kind of had. And what he was missing, I had."
Watch the video below for more on the couple.
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