Details on Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston's reconnection: Why Brad reached out to Jen

When Brad Pitt showed up to ex Jennifer Aniston's 50th birthday party last weekend, fans of the former couple naturally all asked the same question: Are they getting back together?

According to several new reports, the answer is "no": As far as they're concerned, they're just two old friends reconnecting after many years.

Pitt was the first to reach out after Aniston's mother, Nancy Dow, passed away in May 2016, and the former "Friends" actress was pleasantly surprised by his correspondence.

"Brad contacted Jen after her mom died, and she was touched that he knew what a difficult time it was," an insider told Us Weekly.

SEE ALSO: Why Brad Pitt decided to go to Jennifer Aniston's birthday party

Since then, the pair has been known to occasionally chat back-and-forth in private, so his appearance at her birthday party shouldn't have come as a surprise to those closest to them.

"They have each other’s cell phone number and communicate from time to time," the source said. "This is nothing new. Jen and [Brad] have remained friendly."

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Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt together
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston during The 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Red Carpet at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 12: Actor Brad Pitt and actress Jennifer Aniston attend the 51st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 12, 1999 at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt shopping in Los Angeles, CA. November 23, 1999
UNITED STATES - circa 2000: Actress Jennifer Aniston with actor Brad Pitt. (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
371747 01: Brad Pitt & Jennifer Aniston attending the Los Angeles Premiere of the new movie 'Erin Brockovich'. Westwood, California. March 14,2000. (Photo by: Brenda Chase Online USA Inc./Liaison Agency)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Actor Brad Pitt and wife actress Jennifer Aniston arrive at the 52nd 2000 Primetime Emmy Awards on September 10, 2000 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Davis/Getty Images)
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston at the premiere of 'The Mexican' at the National Theater in Los Angeles, Ca. 2/23/01. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images).
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston during 'Rock Star' Los Angeles Premiere at Mann Village in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Jennifer Aniston & Brad Pitt during Spy Game Premiere at Mann National Theatre in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt arrive for the Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California January 20, 2002. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston at the premiere of 'The Bourne Identity' at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles, Ca. Thursday, June 6, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt arriving at the 54th Annual Prime Time Emmys. (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 12: Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt attending the premiere of 'Along Came Polly' at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA 01/12/03 (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 22: Actors Jennifer Aniston and husband Brad Pitt attend the 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards on March 22, 2003 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston & Brad Pitt (Photo by Steve Granitz Archive 1/WireImage)
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston at the Zeigfeld Theater in New York City, New York (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston during Warner Bros. Premiere of 'Troy' in New York City at Ziegfeld Theater in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 13: Actors Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston attend the World Premiere of epic movie 'Troy' at Le Palais de Festival on May 13, 2004 in Cannes, France. Aniston wears a dress by Versace. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
CANNES, France: US actor Brad Pitt and his wife Jennifer Aniston arrive for the official projection of US director Wolfgang Petersen's film 'Troy' , 13 May 2004, at the 57th Cannes Film Festival in the French Riviera town. Hollywood took over the French Riviera today as Brad Pitt and his co-stars of the epic movie arrived to present their 175 million dollar (147 million euro)-plus swords-and-sandals feature, being shown out of competition, in the blaze of Cannes publicity. AFP PHOTO/FRANCOIS GUILLOT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Actors Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston attend the premiere of Petersen's movie 'Troy', at the 57th Cannes film festival. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images)
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt at the The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston during The 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Audience at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. ***Exclusive*** (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
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Both of their relatively recent breakups also helped establish a renewed connection between them: Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced their split in September 2016, while Aniston separated from Justin Theroux last February. So, when Pitt received an invitation to Aniston's milestone birthday party weeks ago, he decided he would attend.

"Brad wanted to support and celebrate Jen by attending her birthday party," an insider told Us.

SEE ALSO: All of the celebrities who were at Jennifer Aniston's birthday party

Once he arrived at the Sunset Tower Hotel, Pitt was very careful not to be photographed walking in and out of the Los Angeles hotspot, working with security to navigate his entrance and exit.

"Brad seemed very hesitant [at first] -- all eyes were on him," a source told Us Weekly. Another eye-witness told Entertainment Tonight that Pitt briefly interacted with Aniston, exchanging a hug and talking for a few minutes before he socialized with other friends at the star-studded party.

"He came to support her, spoke to other friends of his that were there and headed out," the witness said.

But not before other guests noticed his presence, resulting in a subtle frenzy.

"Guests were surprised to see him there and were making a big deal of it," a source said. "But it didn't seem like that big of a deal to Jen. She was happy he was there, but that was it. She was busy making the rounds and excited to see so many people near and dear to her."

Though they didn't get to talk for very long at her birthday, Aniston did "call him the day after the party to thank him for coming. She wanted to know if he had a good time."

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Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston together
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Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston together
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 26: Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux attend the ceremony honoring Jason Bateman with Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame on July 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 26: Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux attend the ceremony honoring Jason Bateman with Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame on July 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 13: Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston attend the Festival Serie Mania Opening Night, at Le Grand Rex on April 13, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux seen leaving Chanel store in Paris on April 12, 2017. (Photo by Mehdi Taamallah/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 11: Actor Justin Theroux and Actress Jennifer Aniston attend the 'LVxKOONS' exhibition (Louis Vuitton and Jeff Koons Collaboration) at Musee du Louvre on April 11, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 11: (L-R) Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston attend the Louis Vuitton's Dinner for the Launch of Bags by Artist Jeff Koons at Musee du Louvre on April 11, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 04: Actor Justin Theroux and actress Jennifer Aniston attend the season 3 premiere of 'The Leftovers' at Avalon Hollywood on April 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actors Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux arrive at the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actors Jennifer Aniston (L) and Justin Theroux pose backstage during the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston seen on the streets of Manhattan on September 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux step out for dinner in Manhattan on September 24, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 21: Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux seen out on June 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 19: Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux are seen in Midtown on June 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux attend the 'Zoolander 2' world premiere at Alice Tully Hall in New York City. ?? LAN (Photo by Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 17: Actors Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux arrive at the 21st Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 17, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 17: Actor Justin Theroux (L) and actress Jennifer Aniston attend the 21st Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 17, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Santa Margherita, Heineken and Proximo Spirits)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 17: Justin Theroux, Will Forte and Jennifer Aniston attend the 21st Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 17, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston attend the Celebrity Charades Goes Medieval Gala 2015 at Capitale on November 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Randy Brooke/WireImage)
AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 03: Actors Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston attend HBO's 'The Leftovers' Season 2 Premiere at Paramount Theatre on October 3, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actors Justin Theroux (L) and Jennifer Aniston attend the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actors Justin Theroux (L) and Jennifer Aniston attend the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 22, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston attend the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Graves/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actors Justin Theroux (L) and Jennifer Aniston attend the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: Actors Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston arrive at the 20th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at Hollywood Palladium on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Actors Justin Theroux (L) and Jennifer Aniston attend the 20th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for A&E Network)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Actor Justin Theroux and actress Jennifer Aniston attend HBO's post Golden Globe Awards party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Actor Justin Theroux and actress Jennifer Aniston arrive at the 16th Annual Warner Bros. And InStyle Post-Golden Globe Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
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