Katie Couric: I'd Like to Get Married

08/09/2006 at 04:40 PM EDT

Katie Couric: I'd Like to Get Married
Katie Couric
Marion Curtis/Startraks photo
Katie Couric, the former Today cohost who in September will take over as host of the CBS Evening News, says she's ready for a "solid" relationship.

"I would love to be married or in a really solid, committed relationship," Couric, 49, tells Parade in its upcoming issue. "I'd love that now. But he just hasn't materialized."

Couric, who lost her husband, Jay Monahan, to colon cancer in 1998, has since dated Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner and had a brief romance with jazz trumpeter Chris Botti.

Since Monahan's death, Couric has been raising daughters Ellie, 15, and Carrie, 10, alone – and she still has pangs of grief for Monahan.

"I'm doing great. My kids are thriving, but when I see a father walking down the street with a little girl and holding her hand, my feeling of loss is palpable," she says.

Any potential partner, Couric says, "would have to be someone capable of loving my girls – maybe not as much as their biological father, because that tie is so primal. But I'd have to think long and hard before I let anyone spend extended periods of time with them."

Although she's protective of her daughters, Couric says, "You don't want to be so cautious that your heart isn't open. I've started to think it's important for my girls to realize there are some really nice, wonderful men out there."

Katie Couric: I'd Like to Get Married| Katie Couric

Courtesy Parade Magazine

Not that she's sitting around waiting for Mr. Right. "I'm not going to spend all my time yearning. If you do that – it might sound too Zen – but you miss the here and now," she says.

Couric's "now" is all about doing the things with her daughters that she missed out on during her 15 years on Today. "For years, I never made them breakfast or walked them to school," she says. "You realize how great it is, just being a mother."

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