Jennifer Lopez is leaving the future of her relationship with Alex Rodriguez to fate, insisting it will only result in marriage "if it's supposed to".
The Love Don't Cost a Thing hitmaker has been dogged by speculation of a secret proposal from the retired baseball ace ever since they began dating early last year (17), forcing the couple to repeatedly brush off the tabloid claims.
However, as J.Lo and A-Rod prepare to celebrate their second Christmas together, the singer/actress admits marriage has crossed their minds of late, but they aren't planning to rush to the altar.
"We think about getting married, but it will happen naturally when and if it's supposed to," the superstar tells People magazine.
"We love each other and we love our life together," the 49 year old continues. "The exciting part of our love is that we're both very aware of how lucky we are to have found each other."
The couple, which has long been friends, reconnected after a period of self-reflection for Jennifer, after finalising her divorce from third husband Marc Anthony, the father of her kids, in 2014 and splitting from on/off boyfriend Casper Smart in 2016.
"I knew there was something going on that I did not understand," she explains of her dating past. "I was done blaming other people - he did this or he did that - and I said to myself, 'No, it's you.'"
The time spent alone prepared Jennifer for a fresh start in her search for love, just as Alex stepped back into her life.
"You're looking at things for what they really are instead of letting yourself get swept off into a romantic fantasy...," she shares of how she approached her latest relationship. "It was a different type of mature love, and we're both at a point where we've done a lot of work on ourselves and we said we're going to do this in a healthy way."
Part of that process was blending their two families, but the stars were lucky as Jennifer's 10-year-old twins, Max and Emme, and Alex's daughters Natasha, 14, and Ella, also 10, embraced one another from the very beginning.
"Kids are so beautiful and open to love and new friends," Jennifer smiles.
"I was so loving to his kids and he was so loving and accepting of mine, and they embraced each other right away. (It was), 'I get a new bonus brother and sisters to hang out with all the time and it's nice.'"
Adds Alex, "Our kids have become best friends and that keeps us both grounded and appreciative. We couldn't have asked for anything better than the four of them getting along as they do."