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Reality star and former WWE wrestler Nikki Bella has publicly started dating beau Artem Chigvintsev of Dancing With The Stars fame, recently referring to him as her boyfriend, according to Followers of Bella are well aware of her previous relationship with actor and WWE wrestler John Cena, to whom she was engaged. The couple had a highly publicized breakup last year, just weeks before their scheduled wedding date. Bella recently reflected on their split, and recognized where she may have been at fault.

Nikki Bella | Hollywood To You/Star Max/GC Images

Still healing

Though Bella is enjoying her new romance with Chigvintsev, she is still recovering from the wounds of her breakup with Cena. “You really have to do the work on yourself,” she said on The Bellas Podcast, according to Entertainment Tonight. “You really, truly have to love yourself and every day dedicate something to you that is making you better. You also have to let yourself cry. That’s one thing my life coach helped me a lot with because I still, you guys, get days that I cry about my breakup, but we were together a long time. So when those tears come, I don’t try to hold them in. I find a quiet place and I cry.” 

The reality star said she was trying different methods to work on herself, and quiet her doubts. “Moments when I’m really down or questioning my decision, I meditate,” Bella said. “It’s crazy how clear your head feels and how clear your decision feels. On top of that, I’ve been reading a lot of books and self-help books.”

Bad timing

The former WWE wrestler also described her unhappiness toward the end of her relationship with Cena, but didn’t see him as the cause of it. “I just towards the end started to become a miserable person. I was very, very unhappy and I would ask myself questions every day — ‘why am I feeling this way?’” Bella said. “I have not only this beautiful, successful man who has a heart of gold, who’s an amazing person. I live in these gorgeous homes. I have these gorgeous things. And I would understand that when you would look at my life it was like, ‘How was this girl becoming so unhappy?’ Honestly, it’s still questions I ask myself today. I’m still trying to get over my breakup. I do the work constantly, but it’s crazy how long it’s taken.”

Bella revealed that Cena asked her to sign an NDA after their relationship ended, so she remains mindful of what she divulges about their breakup. The reality star felt that their “timing was off” in their relationship, especially with Cena having to travel so much for his career. Being apart apparently took its toll. “It wasn’t John’s fault. John, from day one, was so honest with me. And he was very busy in his career, but for a while in our relationship, John and I traveled together,” she said. “That started to stop, so I wasn’t seeing my fiancé all the time. Deep down, John, I truly feel he wanted to have a kid with me and then your mind starts to play tricks on you and I’m like, ‘Is he just doing it for me? Does he want to be a dad?’ And I started to question that.”

Admitting where she was at fault

The Total Divas star was open about her own missteps, saying that she “failed as a communicator,” and should’ve discussed her feelings more with Cena. “Instead of going to John and saying, ‘These things are bothering me. Or do you think these things are going to change?’” Bella said. “Instead, I just became more and more unhappy and then I made a decision to leave without even giving him a try or saying, ‘Look, I don’t like these things. This is the kind of wife and husband I want to be and if you can’t give me that, then I want to walk.’ Instead, I just left.”

While she’s clearly invested in her new relationship with Chigvintsev, she doesn’t deny that her feelings for Cena remain. “With John, I have unconditional love for him. My love, it goes beyond being a boyfriend, a fiance, all those different things,” Bella said of Cena. “He truly feels like family. I’ll never stop loving him, rooting him on, supporting him, protecting him.”