“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, 41, told E! News at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, where he was promoting the Transformers spinoff film Bumblebee.
“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 event marked Cena’s first public appearance since announcing his split from Bella, 34, on April 15. The couple of six years had set a May 5 wedding date after getting engaged in April 2017 on live television.
Bella has yet to speak out about the breakup, but her twin sister Brie told PEOPLE she “didn’t see it coming.”
Still, “I will always love John as a brother, and I will always look at him like that,” she said. “If one day our relationship fades, then so it does, but as of right now I want to be there for him as much as I’m there for my sister. And Nicole respects that. He will always be family.”
RELATED VIDEO: Brie Bella Says She’ll ‘Always Love John Cena Like a Brother’ After Twin Nikki’s Breakup
A source previously told PEOPLE that the couple had clashed over Bella’s desire to tie the knot in the first place and eventually have children.
“He never should’ve proposed, let alone in front of millions of people. Now she’s heartbroken,” the source said. “This was supposed to be the happiest time of her life. He ruined it and blew everything up.”