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Everything Hoda Kotb Has Said About Dating, Relationships and Breakups Through the Years

Everything Today Anchor Hoda Kotb Has Said About Marriage Breakups and Dating Through the Years 769
Hoda Kotb. John Nacion/Getty Images

Hoda Kotb isn’t letting breakups stand in the way of enjoying herself and finding love again.

“Life is beautiful. Try things, go out, get out of your house and your apartment,” Kotb told Entertainment Tonight in March 2024. “I feel like life is meant to be experienced and [you should] step out into it. I love it.”

She continued, “I am hoping that I keep growing. I feel like life is about repotting. I feel like I’ve repotted so many times in my life. When you’re picking up, it’s like, ‘Oh my God. Roots are up in the air.’ … It happened when I went from this job, or this relationship or this family situation. You’re constantly doing it.”

The Today anchor was previously married to Burzis Kanga between 2005 to 2008. After their divorce, she moved on with Joel Schiffman. They got engaged in June 2019 before calling off their wedding plans in January 2022. Kotb and Schiffman have continued to coparent their two daughters: Haley and Hope.

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“We have a really great working relationship,” Kotb exclusively told Us Weekly in November 2022, specifically referring to the holiday season. “We speak a lot and we make sure that we divvy it up so that it is great for him and great for us. The ultimate goal is when your girls are happy. That’s what we both say, ‘Happy girls, that’s all we want.’ And that’s what we have.”

Since Kotb and Schiffman parted ways, she’s slowly dipped her toe back into the dating pond. Keep scrolling for her candid about dating, relationships, breakups and more:

How She Met Joel

After two years of dating, Kotb revealed how they connected.

“I met him at an event I didn’t want to go to,” Kotb recalled on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in 2015. “It was pouring rain, it was yucky, it was a bunch of Wall Street guys — not my crowd. I had to give a speech, they were bored. When I was leaving, they said, ‘You need to sign a few pictures.’ He was next in line and he goes, ‘Can you sign this?’ And I said, ‘Who should I write it to?’ And he said, ‘How about to me?’”

Everything Today Anchor Hoda Kotb Has Said About Marriage Breakups and Dating Through the Years 768 Joel Schiffman and Hoda Kotb
Joel Schiffman and Hoda Kotb. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Time

Explaining an Engagement to Kids

Since Kotb and Schiffman got engaged after becoming parents, they had to think about how to tell eldest daughter Haley the news.

“I think the way we’re going to do it is a little weird,” Kotb told Us and other reporters in December 2019. “I just said to Haley, ‘Mommy and Daddy are having a party because we love each other.’ That’s what I said. I figured that will pretty much cover it.”

Revealing Her Breakup With Joel

“Joel and I have had a lot of prayerful and meaningful conversations over the holidays and we decided that we are better as friends and parents than we are as an engaged couple, so we decided we are going to start this new year on our new path as loving parents to our adorably delightful children and as friends,” she said on the Today show in January 2022. “It’s not like something happened. They say sometimes relationships are meant to be there for a reason, a season or a lifetime, this was for a season.”

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Coparenting Is Key After a Split

Kotb told Us in April 2022 that they have a “really nice, easy situation” in regards to jointly raising Haley and Hope.

“He sees the kids,” she exclusively explained. “He takes them to school some, and he sees them on weekends. … We make sure that the kids get plenty of him and plenty of me.”

Dealing With Divorce

Kotb has seldom mentioned her previous marriage to Kanga but has been candid about the grief of divorce.

“I went through a divorce and breast cancer simultaneously, and I remembered in that time barely functioning, and I was thinking to myself like, ‘Is this it? Is this how it goes?” she said during an October 2023 episode of Today With Hoda and Jenna, referring to her previous health struggle. “I was thinking about some of my lowest moments during that time what was contributing to all of it was I was in horrible health, and I didn’t care about that piece of it, and you don’t realize how bad it gets and then you’re compounding it, your health gets worse, because you’re not well, and [it] went on and on.” (Kotb had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery in 2007 before going into remission.)

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Does Money Matter?

Kotb and her Today cohost Jenna Bush Hager often debate dating trends and etiquette during the third hour of the morning show. In October 2023, they chatted about the concept of “infla-dating” amid inflation and Kotb made it clear that a memorable date doesn’t have to break the bank.

“You’ve got to get creative,” she suggested. “You also know quickly because if you don’t really have anything to talk about when you’re on a walk, maybe you don’t have much that you’re clicking on.”

Kotb added: “I mean, what if you got a call from someone who said, ‘Hey let’s go on a date, meet me in Central Park,’ and you met him in Central Park and he had a picnic laid out. Wouldn’t that be cool? It doesn’t have to be fancy.”

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Nathan Congleton/NBC

Getting Back Out There

During a March 2024 appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Kotb revealed that she had gone on her first date in two years. She later clarified on Today With Hoda and Jenna that it has “only been a date or two.”

“I do think there is something and a date doesn’t mean anything other than you’re getting dressed up and you get to [put yourself out there],” she stressed to Bush Hager. “It’s also a time where it’s not about work or kids. It’s kind of nice sometimes to be a grown-up.”

Adjusting Her Expectations

“It’s what you deserve, what you feel like, ‘Oh yeah, I deserve that.’ But I do think it also shows like, when your kids are watching, ‘Oh, that’s how two people treat one another.’ Not like, ‘Get me this,’” she said during another March 2024 broadcast of Today.

Confidence Is a Must

Kotb told People in March 2024 that she gets pumped up for each date by listening to a special playlist of songs — and adjusting her mindset.

“I just decide before every date, I’m gonna be exactly who I am,” she told the outlet. “I’m not gonna pretend. I’m gonna eat what I would normally and not get a salad. That’s not for me. So I want to be myself, so he knows this is me.”

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