Jeff Probst might sometimes come across as a bit of terse bulldog during his Survivor appearances, but one thing is becoming clear -- the long-time Survivor host is a sappy puppy dog when it comes to love.

With Survivor: Vanuatu's mid-December finale over, Probst finally confirmed rumors that had circulated for several months -- that he and Survivor: Vanuatu castaway Julie Berry had begun dating sometime after the show had wrapped filming in August 2004. "I'm in love. I'm with her. I'm with her family, and there ain't no turning back," an enthusiast Probst told People magazine at the time.

Fast-forward nearly two months, and Probst (if possible) seems to be more in love than before. Quizzed by detail-seeking reporters about the relationship during a Survivor: Palau press conference on Thursday, Probst offered an update on the relationship and told Reality TV World how despite the heart-shaped "Jeff" tattoo that Julie sported in one Vanuatu episode, the couple's relationship wasn't exactly love at first sight.

"It's going great," Probst gushed when asked for an update on the relationship. "It's definitely set a new standard for me in terms of what I want from a relationship and I hope that this is the last time I ever consider it. I'm very happy and we have a great time together. She's a sharp woman. She went through a lot early on and it really gave her a lot of wisdom."

While shooting down suggestions that he sounded like a man on his way to the altar, Probst left no doubt as to his feelings. "I'm just being honest. You never know where things are going to lead but I definitely am in love. I'm not just dating Julie, it's the person I'm with and I hope it lasts forever."

But according to Probst, the couple's initial meeting gave little indication of the romance to come -- and ended with Julie leaving the room in tears. Asked by Reality TV World to recount his initial audition meeting with the 24-year-old Maine resident, Probst explained how the confrontational nature of the show's finalist casting interviews left his future sweetheart in tears.

"When she walked in I was the first person to see her just because of where I was sitting, and she came and sit down and we ended up going at it pretty hard," explained Probst. Adopted at age 5, Julie began the interview by discussing her recent reunion with the biological sister she hadn't seen since she was a young child -- with the Survivor casting call veteran reacting skeptically to her story.

"She got very emotional and I just didn't buy it," explained the 42-year-old divorcee. "I didn't know anything about Julie and I was trying to see if she was for real or not and kinda said as much. She left the room crying and definitely did not think much of me."

"I felt badly because I realized I'd inadvertently hit a sensitive area and didn't intend to, but what I thought when she left was 'That might be the most beautiful woman I've ever seen' and so maybe the seeds were there earlier."

"It took us a while to recover from that, she definitely didn't think a whole lot of me," admitted Probst.