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Hoda Kotb Shares Her Pre-Date Pump-Up Song and How She Stays True to Herself (Hint: 'Not Get a Salad') (Exclusive)

"I want to be myself, so he knows this is me," the 'Today 'anchor tells PEOPLE of dating potential suitors

<p>amie McCarthy/Getty</p> Hoda Kotb attends the 2022 Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame at The Ziegfeld Ballroom on April 14, 2022 in New York City.

amie McCarthy/Getty

Hoda Kotb attends the 2022 Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame at The Ziegfeld Ballroom on April 14, 2022 in New York City.

Hoda Kotb isn’t holding back when it comes to dating.

Two years after her engagement to Joel Schiffman ended, the Today anchor, 59, told PEOPLE at Hudson River Park Friends 8th Annual Playground Committee Luncheon in New York City on Friday that she doesn’t want to put on airs while dating.

“You know what? I just decide before every date, I'm gonna be exactly who I am,” she shared. “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.”

<p>Nina Westervelt/Variety via Getty</p> Hoda Kotb at the 27th Annual Webby Awards held at Cipriani Wall Street on May 15, 2023 in New York City.

Nina Westervelt/Variety via Getty

Hoda Kotb at the 27th Annual Webby Awards held at Cipriani Wall Street on May 15, 2023 in New York City.

Related: Hoda Kotb Opens Up About Daughter Hope's Health Crisis in Emotional First Interview: 'So Resilient' (Exclusive)

She noted that she doesn’t have “a hype-up routine” before a date but “I usually have a cocktail, maybe play music... 'Lil Boo Thang' usually puts me in a good mood. So I'll start there and then go out.”

The journalist also revealed she has a third date “coming up” with a man that co-host Jenna Bush Hager previously set her up with, calling it her ideal way to meet potential suitors.

"A setup, 'cause that means somebody kind of knows you and kind of knows them," she explained. "I like that a little bit better than random person number three."

Related: Hoda Kotb's Daughters Hope and Haley Crash Her Interview with Jimmy Fallon: 'Future of the Today Show'

The mother of two also dished her advice for returning to the dating pool, saying, “If you sit in your house and order Domino's Pizza, you're not meeting anybody. Okay?”

“You got to just kind of go out, and who cares if it's a good day or a bad day, it doesn't even matter,” she continued. “Go out, learn a little, have some fun and be open. Like just do it. You get one ride around the sun. You might as well go out and eat with someone. They're paying, who cares? Like, go do it.”

<p>Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty</p> Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on "Today"

Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on "Today"

Related: Hoda Kotb Reveals Savannah Guthrie's Book Helped Her Through a Tough Parenting Moment: 'It Was Meant for Me'

In January, Kotb told co-host Hager had “only got on two dates” since her split from Schiffman. “Well I think it’s time for us to change that,” her co-host responded.

The conversation came after Sofía Vergara noted that dating in New York City has less pitfalls than Los Angeles. (The reason? Not everyone is famous.)

Hager thought it was time for both Vergara and Kotb to give love another chance. “The inflection in my voice sounded too dramatic. But I think it is time for us to change that for you. And for Sofia, I’m on it for both of you,” Hager shared.

“Yeah. You know what? There are a lot of people who are entering brand new and exciting chapters,” she responded. “And these are all exciting chapters. So yes, I agree with that.”

Schiffman, 65, popped the question to Kotb in 2019, but the pair broke off their engagement in 2022 after eight years together. The pair share daughters Hope, 4, and Haley, 7.

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