Cena returned to the Today show on Tuesday, and reflected on his emotional words about Bella. A day earlier, Cena told Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford that he got his "heart broken out of nowhere" when it came to his breakup with Bella after six years of dating, and that he would still love to marry his ex. He also stressed that he had changed his mind about not wanting to have children with her.
"I was given a chance to be honest and I think that's important," Cena reflected on Tuesday. "I don't know if people understand how hard it is to lead a life in the public eye. I'm grateful that I'm also respectful of people's opinions on what happened yesterday."
"I did what I did yesterday for one person, and one person only," he noted. "And that's because I love her, and I think in times of separation, oftentimes you speculate on what the other person is doing, and sometimes communication can get messed up and this is something that people don't always understand. When you live life in the public, sometimes if you do something in private, and then you do something different in public, that person can be, like, 'Well, you treat me two different ways.' So, it was very important for me to be honest with myself, with you, with all of you, because in turn that allows me to be honest with Nicole and I don't care about the environment. I don't care about anybody's comments, I care about one person."
Cena said he felt "liberated" after being so open about his feelings, and had no regrets.
"I have never regretted one single moment that I have been with Nicole," he explained. "It is a constant learning experience. If you look at the person I was in 2012 and look at me sitting right here, it's been a learning experience that I'm grateful for, and like I said yesterday, if I never have another second, the time I had was so special. The time I had yesterday was a top to the top. I learned so much yesterday with who I am and being honest in public is a liberating thing."
When asked by Gifford if he wanted Bella to hear him and return to him, Cena replied, "No, I just want her to hear me, and I can't force someone to hear me."
Still, the 41-year-old star said he believes she did in fact get his message.
"I believe she did, and I saw some of the comments that she made, and like I said, she's searching for something and I know I can't force her to find it, but I don't want this to fall apart because of speculation of, 'I think he's doing this or I think he feels this way,'" he said.
ET spoke to 34-year-old Bella on Monday at NBCUniversal's upfront presentation in New York City, where she said she did want to reconcile with Cena, but that she was currently focusing on herself.
"John is such an amazing man. He really is the love of my life," Bella told ET. "I truly hope one day that we can work it out and get back together. I think there is hope."