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Today’s Hoda Kotb and Joel Schiffman Split After 8 Years Together: ‘Better as Friends’

The end of the road. Hoda Kotb revealed on Monday, January 31, that she and Joel Schiffman called off their engagement after eight years together.

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“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,” the Today show cohost, 57, said during the third hour of the show, referencing daughters Haley, 4, and Hope, 2. “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.”

The Oklahoma native noted that while fans had noticed she wasn’t wearing her engagement ring, making the announcement felt “weird and awkward” since she was “struggling with” what to say.

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The journalist and Schiffman, 63, went public with their relationship in 2015, two years after they quietly began dating. The financier got down on one knee in November 2019.

Today’s Hoda Kotb and Joel Schiffman Split After 8 Years Together: ‘Better as Friends’
Joel Schiffman and Hoda Kotb. Matt Baron/Shutterstock

“I have to tell you something. A friend of mine, a friend of ours, asked me to let you guys in on a secret,” Kotb told her Today cohosts at the time. “I’ll give you her initials. Her initials are Hoda Kotb, and she’s engaged. He was like, ‘I have something else I would like to say,’ and he said some beautiful things and then he got down on one knee. Then he said, ‘Would you be my wife?’ … I was totally shocked. He had a good poker face.”

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The former couple adopted Haley and Hope in February 2017 and April 2019, respectively.

In July 2021, Kotb told Andy Cohen that when it came to adopting again, she and the New York native were “wait[ing] wisely.”

The You Are My Happy author explained, “Apparently it’s really slow during this time, during COVID. I thought it would be a different game. They said that a lot of people who maybe would normally feel like it would be something they’d want to do, have a child and then give it to someone to raise because they couldn’t, are holding onto things because they don’t have anything in that moment. So that’s what I’ve heard from our agency. Everything’s slow.”

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