Nikki Bella is still feeling the sting of her broken engagement with John Cena as she navigates her relationship with boyfriend Artem Chigvintsev. The Total Bellas star opened up to PEOPLE this weekend about keeping her romance with the Dancing With the Stars pro more private than she might have in the past, admitting she's "scared" to have a relationship so prominently in the spotlight at this point in her life.
"I'll admit, having a public breakup can scar you," she admitted to the outlet. "It scarred me a lot and that's why at times, I'll post Artem and then I won't for a while. It scared me about marriage, it scared me about kids."
The Total Bellas star still yearns for marriage and children, but is willing to take her time this time around until she's emotionally ready.
"It's two things that I really wanted in my life and now I'm so timid of it, which kind of sucks," she said. But I definitely have those scars and I'm working on healing them and doing work on myself weekly."
Chigvintsev, she noted, is more than willing to be supportive of her on her journey.
"It's great to have a man that will do the work with me," she said. "Artem is always there to support me and make me feel like I'm literally the only girl in the world."
"I have never met anyone who's so supportive and I have no fear that he's ever going to leave me for my imperfections, which is so amazing," she added.
Bella and Cena's split in April 2018 did take the world by surprise as the two struggled with being on the same page with their futures and building a family.
In a January episode of Total Bellas, the former WWE Superstar admitted, "My break up has been a very difficult thing. I don't wanna compare it to death or divorce, but you're pretty much saying goodbye to something forever."
Three months later, the E! personality revealed she and her former Dancing With the Stars partner had begun to see each other romantically after reconnecting as friends.
"I just felt like, OK, I'm fall for this guy really fast, but... I just kept trying to push Artem away because I wasn't ready for anything, like, what was coming at me with Artem, this amazing guy," she said in a July episode of The Bellas Podcast after making their relationship official. "He just makes me laugh and it's just easy to be around him and he makes me feel stress free."
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