"Always a great time with one of my favorite people," Rodriguez captioned videos he shared from the cheerful reunion on Instagram on May 16.
According to an insider, while the star has been putting on a happy face in public, he's still nursing a bruised ego over his split from Jennifer Lopez.
The duo — who got engaged in March 2019 — called it quits in mid-April after four years together, and Lopez, 51, is reportedly already moving on with her old flame, Ben Affleck.
"It's such a tough pill to swallow for Alex," says the insider. "Seeing her gallivant around with Ben feels like a massive kick in the teeth."
As the shock of their separation begins to wear off, the insider says Rodriguez, 45, is realizing his picture perfect romance with the Hustlers actress wasn't as happy as it once seemed. "The more Alex reflects on it, the more he realizes he was living a lie," says the insider.
The father of two (he shares Natasha, 16, and Ella, 13, with ex-wife Cynthia Scurtis) and Lopez (mom to 13-year-old twins Emme and Max with ex Marc Anthony) postponed their wedding twice over Covid concerns before announcing they'd parted ways.
"Their time together wasn't anything like the fairy tale they tried to project to the world," adds the insider. "Alex was more in love with the idea of them than the actual relationship itself."
Lopez may have sensed as much. While Rodriguez appeared as the model boyfriend in public — snapping photos of the singer as she posed on countless red carpets, cheering on her performances and gushing about her in Instagram posts — behind closed doors, it was a different story.
"When the cameras were on, Alex was this adoring partner who doted on Jen. But then he didn't act like the same person once they were by themselves," explains the second source, noting that Lopez grew concerned her beau was more enamored with her superstar status — and how it raised his own profile.
Following his unceremonious exit from baseball in 2016 after several drug-cheating scandals, Rodriguez was anxious to repair his image.
After hooking up with Lopez in March 2017, he also seemed to be on a mission to rebrand himself as a bonafide celebrity: That fall, he made several appearances on Shark Tank, and in 2018, joined ESPN as a Sunday Night Baseball analyst.
"As soon as Alex confirmed he was dating Jen, it was as if he was everywhere," notes the source. And while the singer was happy for her partner's success, the source says she eventually started to feel "used" by the former athlete.
"The spark was fading, and it seemed like Alex was more into the showbiz side of things than their romantic connection," adds the source. "It was like he was always more interested in how they were perceived as a couple instead of putting in the work."
While Rodriguez managed to fix his standing in the sports world, he couldn't shake his reputation as a notorious womanizer. (The former slugger's ex-wife Cynthia had previously accused him of cheating on her with Madonna. And in 2019, just after the couple's engagement, Jose Canseco tweeted Rodriguez was stepping out on Lopez with his ex wife.)
This January, Rodriguez came under fire when Southern Charm star Madison LeCroy, 30, revealed he'd snuck into her DMs.
But the former athlete believes the incident was overblown. "Alex feels bad about communicating with her but hates how the whole situation snowballed," spills the first insider. "He thinks the reports were exaggerated and is still reeling over how it played out in the headlines."
But for Lopez, it spelled the end of their relationship. "There were times Alex was aloof and she'd catch him checking out other girls. But this Madison situation really pushed her over the edge," says the second source, adding that while the The Wedding Planner star didn't end things immediately, her trust was irrevocably broken. "Looking back, Jen felt like he'd been making a fool of her for four years. She had to leave."
As Lopez's romance with Rodriguez went south, her former fiancé stepped in. According to reports, Affleck, 48, reached out to her via email in February.
The timing couldn't have been better. "It was like Ben saved her from living her life just for the cameras," shares the source. "With him, there's no need to put on a show — and he doesn't expect her to. She loves that he's so low-key," continues the source. "To those in her inner circle, it seems like the perfect revenge."
Meanwhile, Rodriguez is staying busy and focusing on life at home with his daughters. "In retrospect, it's easy to see that his romance with Jen was dysfunctional and not meant to be," says the insider, noting that, deep down, the MLB legend still wants the best for his ex.
"It stings to see her move on so fast, but he'll get over it eventually," the insider adds, "but now, it's still very raw."