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By Kat Giantis
With spring in the air, the rumor mill's fancy turns to thoughts of love. For Jennifer Aniston, that means rampant speculation that she could be working through the pain of losing her beloved, furry, four-legged pal, Norman, with the help of a new guy.
Oh, and according to X17, they've been "hooking up for a while."
Seems the pair arrived separately at Jen's favorite Los Angeles hotspot, the restaurant at the Sunset Tower Hotel, and spent three hours chitchatting over their meal.
They reportedly exited together from an underground garage, crouching down in the back of a chauffeur-driven car to avoid being photographed, and headed back to Jen's Beverly Hills estate, which is currently on the market for $42 million.
A spy tattles to People that Aniston was "in a great mood" during dinner.
"They seemed happy and were flirty, but didn't act like a couple," says the insider. "They are great friends. When Justin is in L.A. from New York, he and Jen have spent a lot of time together lately."
Adds X17's source, "Jen and Justin have recently started dating. They've known each other for a while, but they're more than friends now. They're cautious -- they're both taking it slowly."
We're cautious, too, so we contacted Aniston's rep for comment on the latest romance rumors, which conveniently come just days after Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie sent the world's press into a frenzy at the Cannes Film Festival.
While we've yet to hear back, her mouthpiece downplays the hookup chatter to Us, pooh-poohing, "What X17 neglected to mention was that there were three other people at the dinner. It was a friends dinner."
Last month, Jen denied reports that she'd reconnected with Bradley Cooper following his bust-up from Renee Zellweger.
Whatever the state of her love life, Aniston at least has a prestigious new award she can snuggle up with.
Spike TV will bestow her with its Decade of Hotness prize at the fifth annual "Guys Choice" event next month, an honor previously granted to the likes of Charlize Theron and Halle Berry.
"Decade of Hotness is Guys Choice's ultimate term of endearment for a woman that we just can't get enough of," Spike TV exec Casey Patterson informs People.
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