Less than two weeks shy of their sixth anniversary, Nikki Bella and John Cena called time out on their epic romance earlier this year. The eventual breakup verdict trailed months of speculation, as the duo oscillated between splitting up, getting back together and splitting up again.
The back-and-forth first started back in April, when news broke that Nikki and John had cancelled their engagement, after having shared the in’s and out’s of their relationship (and wedding plans) with the world during Total Bellas‘ third season. Their first foray into splitsville didn’t last long: a month later, Nikki’s rep confirmed what would be a temporary reconciliation for her and John in a statement to E! News, which said the couple was “working on their relationship” and “taking it day by day.”
Come the end of July, Nikki and John had broken up for good. “After much time and soul-searching alone and together, we have decided to officially part ways,” Nikki told E! News in a statement at the time.
That was almost six months ago. Now, with the return of Total Bellas fast approaching—and, by proxy, the return of both Bella twins’ personal endeavors to the small screen—here’s everything fans need to know about the state of Nikki’s love life, post-Cena. Scroll down for everything Nikki has said about the breakup, dating and single life ahead of the Total Bellas premiere.
Total Bellas returns Sunday, January 13 at 9 p.m., only on E!
She doesn’t want the breakup to “interfere” with her work
“We’re both at the point that we just don’t want to be talked about at all together anymore,” Nikki told Cosmopolitan during an October interview, ostensibly speaking on behalf of herself as well as her ex fiancé. Continuing, she said, “We don’t want our breakup to define us or interfere with our work. And that was happening for a while.”
She’s putting herself out there
Mid-way through some teaser footage from Total Bellas‘ upcoming fourth season, Nikki navigates her newfangled relationship status with ease. “Well, I’m single,” she informs a handsome stranger who audiences haven’t met before. “Should we go dance?” Naturally, he obliges.
Christopher Polk/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
She’s coming into her own
She’s feeling “young and fun and free”
“Single. No kids. I’m feeling young and fun and free,” Nikki says triumphantly in a November teaser video, which sees the twin boozing, shimmying and flirting her way through Total Bellas‘ fourth season. (In that order.) Still, the WWE veteran admits she hasn’t “kissed another guy in 9 years.”
But she hasn’t quite mastered the art of “single life” just yet
“I’m enjoying being single, but I’m not really living up to the perks of a single life,” Nikki told E! News back in December. What to expect from her date with Peter Kraus, then? “You know, you have to watch Total Bellas to see if there was sparks or not,” Nikki said of that cozy gondola ride she took with the former Bachelorette contestant, which will play out onscreen next season. Continuing, she teased, “Maybe there’ll be date number two. I don’t know.”
She doesn’t know if she’s ready for another relationship
Looking at you, Mr. Kraus. “Nicole gave me permission to set her up on a date,” Brie Bella explains in a promo video for Total Bellas‘ next season. It doesn’t take long for Brie to unveil her pick. “Alright, let’s see…Peter from The Bachelor!” she reveals excitedly. But when the video pans to a snippet of her sister’s soon-to-be-televised rendezvous with Peter, it appears Nikki is less enthusiastic. “I don’t know if I’m ready for this,” she says.
She’s “not really looking” for a new man right now
Speaking to E! News at Z100’s Jingle Ball concert last month, Nikki shared some updates on single life. “Oh, it’s…you know. It’s not going well, I guess,” she joked. “But I guess I’m not really looking.”
She’s up for some fake-flirting, though
“The paparazzi are hounding us everywhere we are going. I’m not gonna lie, I don’t know how to handle it,” Nikki said during an October episode of Total Divas, when the ladies traveled to Miami for Nattie Neidhart and Nia Jax‘s joint birthday celebration. Despite the unwelcome entourage, Nikki still managed to have a little fun. “We have this hot hired bartender, so I thought it would be really funny to flirt with him to you know, like, start some rumors,” she told the cameras, which graciously captured the whole thing.
Cena has “changed” her forever
A little more than a week post-breakup, Nikki took to Instagram with a sweet message to her ex in honor of what would have been the couple’s sixth anniversary together. “You’ve changed me forever. And I’ll never forget you,” she wrote.
She and Cena are probably going to “stay friends”
“I think it’s when you have an amazing connection with someone and you just stay friends,” Nikki told E! News ahead of Us Weekly‘s Most Stylish New Yorkers event last September, a little more than a month after she and Cena publicly called it quits.
Watch the season four premiere of Total Bellas Jan. 13 at 9 p.m.!