As a couples counselor serving families in Houston, I believe strongly in the healing powers of a great date. Regularly scheduling time to have a good day with your partner can deepen your connection: By prioritizing shared positive experiences, you show each other just how much you value your relationship. Dates provide prime time and space to talk about life's stresses, have fun together, and get to know each other better. While regularly dating your partner will not solve all of your problems and can not substitute for the deep and intimate work required to solve conflict, it creates a foundation of positive experience and good feeling from which to build upon throughout your lives together.
Throughout this Great Houston Dates blog series, I'll be doing the leg work for you by providing a suggested itinerary for a neighborhood-specific date with your partner or spouse. If you want to follow along or read other entries in this series, click on the Great Houston Dates tag at the end of this entry. I don't have financial ties or partnerships with any of the restaurants or businesses I mention in this series; I'm just a local couples counselor passionate about helping fellow Houstonians have great relationships.
Today, I'm kicking off my first entry in this Great Houston Dates blog series by focusing on a neighborhood that seems to be getting cooler and cooler all the time: The Houston Heights. In fact, Memorial Heights Counseling got its name from its close proximity to Memorial and the Heights along I-10 and 610. Although the boundaries of the Heights are a subject of much debate, this date will be focused primarily on what most would agree is the central core of the neighborhood: Heights Boulevard and 19th Street.
Start your date with your partner with a cup of coffee and baked goods from EQ Heights at 11th Street and Heights Boulevard. This classic Heights bungalow that has been converted into a thriving coffee shop is a cozy place to begin your afternoon together. On a Saturday afternoon, EQ's expansive deck provides the perfect romantic spot to enjoy the outdoors and watch the passersby during Houston's patio season.
After coffee and conversation, walk hand in hand up Heights Boulevard's popular trail north toward 19th Street. Pause to appreciate the public works of art placed along the boulevard or sit in one of the gazebos together along the way. Make sure to make way for joggers and try not to get distracted by the sheer number of adorable dogs out for a stroll.
Once you've reached 19th Street, take a left into The Heights' original downtown. Step into some of the iconic antique shops as you walk ahead; try to find the most bizarre or valuable item you can. Nineteenth Street truly has something for everyone: You can find locally owned shops filled with eclectic toys, handmade jewelry, and vintage vinyl along the way.
Before your date, check and see if the historic Heights Theater has any concerts or shows that interest you both and get tickets if so. Pause for a moment for a quick selfie in front of the Theater's timeless marquee.
For dinner, try Harold's Restaurant & Tap Room for some southern flavor with deep roots in the Heights. If the weather is nice, ask for a seat on the upstairs terrace while you enjoy your dinner together. The view of 19th Street from here can't be beaten.
After dinner, head west toward Shepherd Drive for some delicious after-dinner dessert. Find locally-owned Fat Cat Creamery for some incredibly tasty ice cream to cap off your night together. I recommend the waffle cone and some warm praline sauce.
Keep dating! Dating is such a wonderful investment in your relationship and provides such great moments of fun and connection. Check back here in the weeks to come for more date ideas around additional Houston neighborhoods.