Since announcing their split, “John has constantly been in touch with Nikki,” a source tells PEOPLE. “They will almost definitely get back together.
“They’re definitely on a path to reconciliation,” the insider adds. “John is the love of her life, and she’s definitely the love of his life, and that doesn’t just vanish overnight. At the end of the day, they still want to be together.”
While the couple was originally supposed to walk down the aisle on Saturday, Bella, 34, called off the engagement three weeks earlier. Sources previously told PEOPLE that her decision to break up was due to their differing stances on marriage and having kids.
The pair’s May 5 wedding would’ve occurred over a year after Cena, 41, proposed to Bella on live TV during WrestleMania 33 in April 2017 — and there was even a TV special planned about their nuptials set to air in July.
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After the pair split, the source says Cena realized how big of a mistake it would be “if he let Nikki go for good.”
“John’s almost never been alone, and he can’t be alone, and it’s definitely hitting him that he would be making a huge mistake if he let Nikki go for good. He wants to figure out how they can put this back together, and that’s where her heart is, also. In some ways, this is almost exactly the plot of the first Sex and the City movie: when it’s just the two of them, they’re fine,” the source adds.
So what went wrong?
“Just like in the movie, the wedding got bigger than the both of them— originally, it was going to be this small, intimate, family-oriented gathering with just the nearest and dearest. Then it blew up in to a televised special and this whole ornate thing and it was just too much,” the source explains.
“You’re dealing with a guy who grew up poor, without a dad, and with a history of commitment issues— non-stop wedding publicity and a whole big extravaganza was bound to rattle him, and it did. They got away from what made them work, which is the bond that’s just between John and Nicole— not John Cena, WWE Superstar, and Nikki Bella of the Bella Twins,” the source adds. “They need to regroup, and they both want to do that.”
Although Bella has yet to speak about the breakup, Cena has publicly admitted that he misses his ex.
“Nicole knows I love her and I miss her, but that is what it is. And I’m still here, still going — and I choose to go,” Cena told E! News last month.
“When you love somebody, it stings,” he added. “That’s why musicians write about it. That’s why poets write about it.”
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The source adds that while Cena has had some fears and “control-freak issues” in the past (he asked Bella to sign a 75-page cohabitation agreement in 2013 before he agreed to let her move in with him), he’s willing to make some changes in order to make the relationship work.
“He knows he isn’t going to find anyone else like her. She doesn’t need to change a thing about who she is or what she’s been doing. He needs to figure out a way to get past some of his fears and control-freak issues, many of which he comes by honestly because of his past,” the source explains.
The source continues, “But the thought of being without her forever is scary enough for him to make those changes now. He loves her completely. They’re gonna find their way back to each other.”
Cena was previously married to Elizabeth Huberdeau from 2009 until 2012.