Dating My Husband

Shea and Joseph barn

Young married couple. A new baby. Renting an apartment. Saving for a house. All on one income. Sounds financially challenging, right?! It is. But, Joseph, my husband, and I try not to let our tight budget get in the way of having a fun, active relationship that includes many date nights. Our date nights have gone from going out on the town to many nights ‘in,’ mostly with our son included.


Joseph Dockery

Living in the Upper Midwest, with dreadfully long (well, to me, at least) winters, the months where it is warm enough to go outside without bundling up is delightful! When Joseph gets home from work, we pack our son in the stroller and head outside! Yesterday, as we strolled to nowhere in particular, I was able to tell him how much our baby has changed only in one day! He is learning how to grab on to clothes and toys, laughs more and more, and ‘talks’ to me while I eat lunch. Joseph shared about his day, which working in a K-12 school, varies from a funny saying from a kindergartener to the struggles of a particular families’ loss. Yesterday, he told me about soccer meeting he had with the varsity girls’ team. As a coach, his eyes light up as he talks about setting up summer workouts and getting ready for next year. I am grateful for our time together in the fresh air, so good for our bodies and our relationship as we share about our day!

Many evenings after our walk, we enjoy cooking a simple meal together. When Joseph reads this, he is going to shake his head. Most likely because I ‘take over’ in the kitchen. But, when I do actually let my guard down and we cook together, it’s so fun to see the result of a delicious meal in front of us. Last night, we made one of our favorite meals, taco salad. Simply brown ground beef or sauté some chicken tenders in olive oil and taco seasoning, add salsa, cheese, onion, avocado, black beans over a bed of lettuce. Voila! With tortilla chips on the side, a healthy and simple dinner can be enjoyed together as a couple.

The arrival of our new son in March has definitely tightened our budget, but we made a commitment to one another during our engagement that we will always strive for a strong relationship for each other and our child(ren). Our nightly walks and homemade dinners have definitely helped to keep our love strong while we build our bank account too!

P.S. I’m always looking for more “free” date ideas, so feel free to leave me tips in the comments!



Tags from the story
, , ,
Written By
More from Shea

Better Version of Myself

This is me: type A, major planner, stereotypical oldest child, worried about...
Read More


  • Thanks for sharing! Good reminder to me to embrace the little moments together–family dinners, walks around the neighborhood, time with our son.

  • You guys sound a lot like my wife and I. We are living on a tight budget desperately trying to get rid of student debt and saving for a home. It can be stressful, not being able to go out on dinner dates, or having to say no to that sweet concert that’s coming through town. But we know that our hard work will pay off in the years to come.
    One thing we like to do every once in a while is “future shop”. We go to the mall, or to a big home improvement store and pretend we are shopping for our fixer upper we just bought. It’s fun because on these shopping trips, money is of no object. If we see it and like it, we “buy” it. I think we’ve broken a couple of sales peoples’ hearts when we seemed so excited about the amazing bathroom set but then just walked off. It’s a great way to have fun together while motivating each other in the choice we’ve made to be stingy.
    Keep on keeping on and congratulations!

  • Wonderful Shea! You have an amazing husband and loving family that you are a part of. Lovely article! Your welcome up to NB for a backyard fire and s’mores anytime!

  • I really enjoyed this, Shea! Thank you for sharing. We are a one-income household as well, and so often we feel like those “date-nights-out” aren’t in the budget, and it’s easy to let the kiddos (3 girls) “get in the way” of our dating. I know that we haven’t intended for this to happen, but it does take a lot of work to date each other when kids are in the picture, and it’s easy to forget (sometimes) that the husband-wife relationship needs to come first.

    Many times when I’m driving, and not really focusing on anything (except for the road – ha!) I think back to our dating days and engagement, which was all long-distance for 2.5 years! Each visi,t we tried to do something fun that we didn’t get to do during the previous visit. It was so easy to date when we only had each other. But I think that’s what makes it more fun NOW. Now, we have to work at it, so he might take extra time to plan where we go, or I might take extra time to get ready, and it just seems more special than when we were actually dating.

    As for cheap date-nights-in, we love getting a great bottle of wine from Trader Joe’s along with some really good cheese and crackers, and watch our seasons of Downton Abbey that we’ve downloaded on our AppleTV. We don’t have cable, so getting to just pick what we want to watch is fun! We like to rent a movie, play scrabble, or just plan more of our future. We like to talk about how long it will be until we’re finally out of debt, house projects we want to save up for, how we can figure out ways to spend more time together, and of course, we always talk about our girls.

    Thanks for the reminder to date my hubby :: it’s something I forget to do too frequently unfortunately, and it makes me want to try harder. Great post!

Comments are closed.