After viewers speculating for several shows why Hoda Kotb hasn’t been wearing her wedding ring, she announced today that she and her boyfriend of eight years, Joel Schiffman, are splitting up.

The couple, who have two adopted daughters Hope, 2, and Haley, 4, together, met at a book signing in 2013 and began their relationship in private. Kotb referred to Schiffman with the cute anonymous nickname of “Boots” when discussing him on Today at the start of their relationship, before finally going public in 2015 after a tabloid identified Schiffman.

Kotb and Schiffman became engaged in November 2019, but the wedding was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“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,” Kotb began in her statement on the split in the Monday Today show’s third hour. “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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