06/22/2011 at 10:00 AM EDT
Even at 47, Hoda Kotb was anxious about bringing her boyfriend home to meet the family.
"I was a little nervous, I have to say! 'Cause it doesn't matter your age. You're still bringing your boyfriend home to meet your mom, and it's still weird," the Today co-host told PEOPLE Tuesday at the Women of Concern Awards luncheon in New York.
It all went well, though. Asked what her family liked most about her boyfriend – reportedly a Boca Raton lawyer named Jay Blumenkopf – Kotb replied: "I think the way he cares about me, probably. You know when you watch someone care about someone you care about. It's just so nice."
Kotb, who was honored at the event with a Humanitarian and Leadership Award, said she isn't the "clingy Velcro girlfriend type at all," probably because she's lived without a boyfriend for so long.
"You just don't ever expect it at this stage of your life, she said. "I didn't expect someone would look at me the way he looks at me. And in fact, I don't think I've ever been looked at like that in my life, quite frankly."
Kotb says she doesn't have any big summer trips planned with Jay, but she adds cryptically: "We're working on one. I think there may be a little surprise coming, so we're going to wait and see what happens."