Blake Shelton doesn't have kids of his own, but he admits his fatherly instincts kick in when he spends time with Gwen Stefani's three boys.

Eleven-year-old Kingston, 9-year-old Zuma and 3-year-old Apollo are Stefani's kids with ex-husband Gavin Rossdale, but Shelton has found a place in their lives — though it took time. "For a long time, it was awkward trying to figure out what my place is and in their mind too,” he tells People. "The best part for me, selfishly, is discovering a part of myself that I guess I never really knew was in there. It’s definitely an instinct that kind of kicks in."

The country star confesses there are times when he experiences the normal stresses of a parent, like when the kids are running wall to wall and he's wondering when school will start, he jokes. But at the end of the day, the boys bring the country superstar a lot of joy, because they're "so damn funny."

"It’s just my first time being around it, and it’s easy to fall in love with those kids. They’re pretty special," he says.

Stefani, who's been officially dating the country singer since 2015, has nothing but glowing remarks to share about her boyfriend, who was just named People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive. She says he's a "perfect fit" for the title, citing Shelton's sense of humor as one of his sexiest qualities.

“It’s interesting because I don’t think any of those things like beauty or sexy or whatever way you want to describe humans is necessarily a physical thing that people are attracted to,” she says. "It’s all about the heart, and he has that big ol’ gigantic heart in there, so he’s quite an attractive human. I’m not the only one that thinks it!"

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