Jennifer Lopez has described her ex-fiancé Ben Affleck as her "first big heartbreak".

The singer and actress told Maria Shriver on the US TV Today show that it was very difficult for her to recover from the breakdown of their engagement in 2004.

Lopez then married ex-husband Marc Anthony six months later and they divorced earlier this year.

"It was probably my first big heartbreak," Lopez said. "And to have one of my best friends who I'd known for years, who I actually love and did have chemistry with, come into my life and say, 'I'm here'...

"What you need to know is, nobody can save you or heal you. Only you can do that for you."

Lopez, who recently split from her backing-dancer boyfriend Casper Smart, added that she is now becoming used to being single.

"It's still a work in progress for me," she said. "It's how you feel as a child, you know, being a middle child and kind of being invisible sometimes, or, you know, trying to get the attention.

"I'm open to love, but right now, I think it's better to just be on my own for a minute and learn more about myself."