The Living Room Date

by mssinglemama on March 13, 2009

This week I was interviewed for an article for a local magazine – apparently I’m one of the Top 10 Singles in my city. She asked me a series of questions you might fill out for an online dating profile like, “Where is your ideal first date?”


“My living room, in this economy, just about everyone. When you add up evening baby sitters plus dinner and drinks dating can be very expensive. The alternative is a what I call the living room date and here is how to have one:

P.S. I had fun with this video (as you’ll see) but it took me six takes to get it right. Not as easy to explain as I thought it would be and apparently I could talk about this FOREVER. But I kept it under 7 minutes.

Please add more low budget dating tips if you have them.

And if you’re a new reader here’s more single mom dating advice.


If you haven’t already you should enter to win that awesome kid’s cookbook I’m giving away. Just a few days left on that.

{ 5 trackbacks }

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Philosophy Boy « Sunshine on My Shoulder
April 8, 2009 at 5:00 am
Living Room Date « Leap and the Net Will Appear
June 6, 2010 at 9:48 pm
Single Moms and Dads: Dating and Blending Family Advice | Single Mom | Single Mom Blog | Ms. Single Mama
June 13, 2012 at 10:13 pm
Single Moms and Dads: Dating and Blending Family Advice |
June 14, 2012 at 12:30 am

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

SingleParentDad March 13, 2009 at 12:27 pm

How about lining up some Barry White?

And you wouldn't need to get many games out if I came round, I'd be happy with Benjamin's toys.


mssinglemama March 13, 2009 at 1:43 pm

That's a really, really good question.

Phew. And as women how do we make sure the guy doesn't think we just want to sleep with them?

I think play up the economy card. Or make it very clear that this is because you have the kids.

I would expand on this but I'm at work… anyone else have some thoughts on his question?


lilmissbridget March 13, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Canadian bald guy…
I think it doesn't come off too much like you just want a woman to come over if you explain to her why. But don't go into too much detail or she'll think you are lying! I would just tell her you have your kids and that you'd love her to come over for some good DVD fun. Get a cute movie from Netflix that you know is woman appropriate (no gratuitos sex or violence)…or you could always pull the "I want to make you dinner" routine. It could be fun, getting your kids involved.

Most women, if they feel comfortable with you, will have no problem coming over. My 2nd date with my hunney I had dinner at his house =)

hope I helped,


New Single Mama March 13, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Great tips! I particularly like the board/card game part. It's a great way to see how well two people get along, and the sore loser part, ah, I should have realized that years ago… But I digress.
I also love the toys idea too.

You look great!


bird March 13, 2009 at 3:17 pm

I call them porch dates bc when the weather is nice we sit on the porch. I have a lot of experience since I dated a single dad for 2 years and we had diff schedules. He actually started it coming over with dessert and bringing beers to drink on an Indian summer night. It was super sweet and really nice because we just chatted. It was a great way to get know each other bc you would not make out on your porch in a city neighborhood when everyone is walking around. Then one night I invited him over to watch a baseball game and late dinner. We would have the regular dinner dates, concerts and plays too, but this was our reg. weekly deal. Then we both started bringing our guitars over and worked on playing together (our kids could sleep through alarms going off outside their doors.) These were always our best dates. We even helped each other fold laundry and do dishes-just put some music on and had fun. Wii tennis matches always fun! We learned quickly what living together/marriage might potentially be like. We grew closer than we would have just getting to know each other over dinner. He is one of my best friends to this day. Too bad merging families was too difficult for our children. Highly recommend learning to play an instrument together-super fun!


Taylor March 13, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Good video! I used to have "living room" dates with my boyfriend before I decided to introduce my son to him. He would come over after my son went to bed and then we would have a plan to watch a movie and have popcorn. He would leave before 1:00 so I could get my sleep and it worked out great. I highly recommend them! As for the kids waking up, it does happen and its hard. I freaked out one time about it and I found it just made it worse for my son. It was like he could tell that I wanted him to go back to bed so bad, but he could tell something was up, so it made him wired. I learned my lesson though and the ones after that went great. I also recommend candles to make things a little more romantic too.

As for it not seeming like a booty call, I would call it a "movie night" and just play up the economy card like MsSingleMama said and mention something about making it an early night, so that it doesn't seem like only one thing is on your mind.


Canadian Bald Guy March 13, 2009 at 1:20 pm

LOVE your videos, MSM….great stuff.

Here's a question: Is it more appropriate for a woman to ask for a living room date than a man? I mean, if I asked a woman to come over to spend time in my living room because maybe I've got my son with me that night or something, would that appear to come across as me only wanting to get her into bed?

Is there a way to suggest the living room date without it appearing as if there's only one thing on the person's mind?


Jenn March 13, 2009 at 8:39 pm

I think this is a great way to gauge a man's reaction to your home, your child, and your life! I struggle with getting too personal too soon vs. not feeling as if I know enough about the new guy, it is a constant struggle. With a "LR date," you are beyond having to get all dressed up for a night-on-the-town and there is no pretense about being on your best behavior. You can kick back and truly get to know each other in a comfortable atmosphere. I do agree with the other postings though, about making sure that it is understood BEFOREHAND that there are no intentions of staying over or anything, this would be a good thing to establish for both of you way before the moment – way before the awkward conversation takes place of "Well, are you getting tired, I really don't want to keep you up late, do you want me to go now?" Yes, I have had this conversation before and it can get you in trouble.


thewarriorpoets March 13, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Wow… you dobelieve in dating strategy! You even used the word "test".

I feel validated! Muahahahahahaha!

On a serious note, and forgive my overly fatherly tone, but it's the law enforcement experience creeping up in me… just be careful about who you let know where you live and how soon. And be doubly careful because you've got a little one involved.

It's a fine line between cautious and paranoid. My job probably makes me lean towards paranoid, so take it for what it's worth.


thewarriorpoets March 13, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Wow… you do believe in dating strategy! You even used the word "test".

I feel validated. Muahahahahahaha!

On a serious note, and forgive my fatherly tone but it's the law enforcement experience creeping up in me… be careful about who you let know where you live and how soon. And because of that little one, be doubly cautious.

My best advice is any time you have a new guy over to your home, make sure someone else knows he is there, and casually make sure he knows that someone else knows he is there.

It's a fine line between cautious and paranoid, and my job probably makes me lean towards paranoid, so take it for what it's worth.


Ms. Single Mama March 13, 2009 at 10:15 pm

I think strategy is different than little single mom tests – which every one of us must have to weed out to bone heads or the men who just aren't ready. Saves us a lot of pain in the long run, and the men as a matter of fact.

As for being safe. Yes, I assume this goes without saying, but yes – everyone should be very careful before inviting anyone into your home. So glad I have you reading… you're a fantastic voice of safety and reason.

Tks for this.


thewarriorpoets March 14, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Oh, so not fair using semantics to steal my validation away. Cruel, cruel world.

You hit the nail on the head of why I tend to worry about safety with women. There is no shortage of bone heads out there.


Bad mummy March 19, 2009 at 3:46 am

Too right. I spent a month dating a man before he had his first paranoid schizophrenic episode. Am so grateful I never had the chance to introduce him to my daughter.


Kaley January 28, 2015 at 12:26 am

Didn’t know the forum rules allowed such bralniilt posts.


Ms. Single Mama March 13, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Awesome point. This has happened to me too… but I wanted to keep the video light.

You HAVE to make sure (if you're not super into him yet) that he is aware that there will be no spending the night.


Heather March 15, 2009 at 3:13 am

Your videos are always so cute.

Grrrrreat advice. I'm a big fan of the LR date. I agree with the early bedtime suggestion. That is where I've failed and I always regret it when I'm dragging the next day. It's easy to lose track of time when you're chatting on the couch all night.


March Liz March 15, 2009 at 3:21 am

Love the video!
I would like to do the board/card game thing, but what games are good for only 2 people? I haven't played any for years and all the ones I played needed at least 3 people to work well. Any suggestions? Thanks!


rhonda March 15, 2009 at 8:29 am

scrabble, a very silly game of uno, trivial pursuit, you could also just play random question games, I like to do the alphabet game of actors/movies, or perhaps 6 degrees of kevin bacon–you name an actor, I name a movie he was in, whoever messes up gets to take a sip of wine….cheesy, I know, but it can be fun. 🙂


Bad mummy March 19, 2009 at 3:48 am

Bananagrams! Dominos! Hell, dig out the kids games and play Memory or Hungry Hungry Hippos!


Katherin February 4, 2015 at 3:03 pm

You guys are lucky. I never had a grandfaehtr. My faehtr’s faehtr was killed in action on Okinawa 65 years ago this week. I have a copy of a letter to his sister he wrote the day before he was killed. In it, he spoke of my then two-year-old faehtr whom he had never seen, being in battle for three straight years and made a promise to never miss Mass again. He was killed by machine-gun fire leading his squad up a ridge the next day.When my mother was ten years old her faehtr had a bad headache. She kissed him goodbye one morning and went to school. When she came home from school her parents were not there. The neighbor Mrs. Novak was at the house to meet my mother and her sisters. Their faehtr had died suddenly of a brain tumor.


Bear March 15, 2009 at 5:11 am

For an alternative to wine and cheese, when your guest can be trusted not to overindulge or misread the signal, you might consider cultivating some talent as a cocktail goddess.

It's surprisingly easy and economical. Cheap liquor is usually very bad, but some is quite good but not well known. Some Old Overholt rye ($15), some Martini and Rossi sweet vermouth ($15), a bottle of Angostura bitters and some good cocktail cherries, and you're ready to make amazing Manhattans* and Old Fashioneds**… at a cost of about $3-$4 per cocktail, depending on the size of the glass you use. Especially if it's going to be an early evening, with just a drink or two each, that could compare pretty favorably to the cost of a bottle of wine.

And maybe it's just me, but there's something kind of jazzy about women who know how to make a good cocktail….

* two parts rye, one part vermouth, two dashes of bitters; stir with ice, strain into chilled martini glass, garnish with cherry.
** 1/4 oz simple syrup (50/50 sugar/water mixture, heated up and then cooled; keep a bottle in fridge), 4 oz rye, 4 dashes bitters; stir, add ice and garnish with cherry.


MillionaireMatch March 15, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Excellent Video – I really enjoyed watching your video. Good point having 2 formal dates first then a living room date. It does make it easier to have a living room date sometimes because you don't need to find a baby sitter. Living room dates can be fun, cook him a nice meal with a few glasses of wine. Or cook something together is always interesting. Light the candles, relax, have fun and get to know each other slowly.


Heather March 15, 2009 at 1:25 pm

At what point in the new relationship do you agree to a living room date when you don't have time to clean things up?!

My new guy asked if he could bring dessert and wine after work a few weeks ago. By the time I was home, had the little one fed, and got her tucked away in bed, I barely had time to shower and change. He didn't seem to mind in the least- but I was humiliated by the dinner dishes in the sink and the farm animals scattered about the hall.

Now it's pretty much the norm, though. Haha.


Dawn March 17, 2009 at 2:54 am

I cannot imagine a livingroom date. How would I explain the herd of cats in this place we lovingly refer to as Africa. Any dating advice for in your car … I just got re-inspired over my mom mobile. The station wagon!


darlena March 20, 2009 at 8:59 pm

I'm a single mom of 2…first guy 17 now…I did the same journey you are going through….word of warning…..There are men out there that "only date single moms" "because it's easier…because all you have to do is show up in the living room and pretend you like kids..and then you are in…then just act like a jerk once..and the single moms disappear.." I did alot of very careful lookin'…..found a guy older…great job…great family….etc….he turned out to the one of those men that Prey on single mothers… I'm single again with a 7 year old….
Please Please….I wish I could shout it from the roof tops…There are men out there Preyin' on single mothers….


Susan Sedgemore May 25, 2009 at 4:20 am

It would be best to rent a room away from the children when you are initially meeting someone,it is neither a safe or ideal to bring them to your home or around your children..excpecially after only two dates..there are many weirdo in the world and preditors never leave yourself or your child open to chance.not to mention now they know where you live…not smart ladies..I raised 3 children as a single children where never introduced into a relationship until I was involved a year
If the guy is at all intesested in you he will cover your expenses if not he can't afford you. the costs of raising children are enormous…why should he have a free living room date


Bugs Bunny May 31, 2009 at 5:46 pm

The previous post is creepy; I mean do you have a monetary value? Like the guy has to pay for the date? Whatever!

I totally agree with this post and I’m glad I found this blog, I do the same most of the time and my son loves to find new people in the morning.


hot mama January 24, 2010 at 10:06 pm

what if you dont have an upstairs ?? and you just have a flat 2 bed room apt


julie July 23, 2010 at 7:56 am

you are a great mother.Kip it up


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