It’s about time!
After dating with “no labels” for nearly four months, Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev revealed that they have decided to make their relationship official.
“We’re boyfriend and girlfriend,” Bella, 35, revealed on The Bellas Podcast on Wednesday.
“We’re in a relationship,” added the Dancing with the Stars pro, 37. (They met when they were partnered on the reality competition in 2017)
To help announce their new status, the couple expressed their feelings in the best way they know how — through dance. Bella said the two choreographed a dance that helps tell the story of their romance.
Set to Rita Ora’s hit “Let You Love Me,” Bella said the song reminded her of the “journey” she’s been on with Chigvintsev.
“I’m the one that chose the song and [it’s] kind of my journey with Artem and dating,” she said. “This song really hit me hard. I just felt like, ‘Okay I’m falling for this guy really fast.’ But, not that I wanted to avoid it, but I just kept trying to push Artem away. I just wasn’t ready for anything.”
Bella admitted that her strong feelings for Chigvintsev scared her.
“I felt myself falling for him a lot but then I felt like I was acting out in ways,” she said. “I was avoiding it.”
The dance will be released on Bella’s YouTube channel on Wednesday.
“It’s very personal. It’s very special because of the song and the storyline. It sums up to us and sums up our story,” Chigvintsev said of the dance. “It’s very dear to both of our hearts. It’s so emotional, it’s crazy. It makes you feel a certain way.”
Bella has long been open about her desire to take her relationship with Chigvintsev slowly.
She first confirmed their romance in March with an Instagram photo that featured her giving him a kiss on the cheek, but said later on The Bellas Podcast that “we are not engaged, we are not married, we’re not boyfriend and girlfriend, we don’t say, ‘I love you.’ ”
Bella also told PEOPLE in early April that she and Chigvintsev were “having fun,” but that she was still “not fully taken.”
She made the distinction again later that month on her podcast, saying she took issue with reports that referred to him as her “boyfriend” after she accompanied Chigvinstev to Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson’s wedding.
“I posted a lot [at the wedding] with Artem. We did really cute snaps,” she said. “I was his date, right, we’re dating. But then everywhere it says, ‘Nikki Bella and boyfriend Artem’ — and I’m like, wait, boyfriend? Why are there labels? Why are they doing that?”
“I feel like for women in my situation who date and have fun, who want to get our Carrie and Samantha on and showcase it on our platforms, people automatically assume that we’re official,” she added.
“So he’s your boyfriend,” Bella’s sister Brie countered. “If he has all these great qualities, then why not?”
“No,” she insisted. “Because I’m not ready for it.”
After her sister protested, pointing out that they’re together “all the time,” Bella responded, “That doesn’t mean anything.”
Bella’s romance with Chigvintsev is her first since calling off her engagement to John Cena last summer.
Cena, 42, appears to have moved on as well, as he was recently seen holding hands with a mystery woman later identified as Shay Shariatzadeh.
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