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.
One of Houston's most historically cool and well-loved neighborhoods is the Montrose area. From the thriving restaurant scene to the LGBTQ-friendly hangouts, Montrose is great neighborhood for enjoying a Saturday with your partner in the city.
Start your date with a cup of coffee or tea from Agora at Westheimer and Park. This funky space gives off the classic Montrose vibes you need to get your day started right. Find a comfy couch and ask each other a few open-ended questions so you can really focus your attention on each other. The Gottman Institute offers a free app with great conversation starters for couples that will help you feel more connected as your day begins.
After coffee and conversation, take a quick ten minute walk south to Menil Park. Here, you can choose to view the Menil Collection, a wonderful and recently redone art collection with free entry. Additionally, you can lay out a blanket in the park for a moment to relax or head over to Rothko Chapel for a truly spiritual experience in silent meditation together. Take your time; remember that today is about being together and trying new things, not marking items off a to-do list.
Once you start to get hungry, Montrose has so many options for a delicious meal together. For something more upscale, head on over to Hugo's on Westheimer for some seriously perfect traditional Mexican fare. For something more casual but still delicious, walk to nearby California Street to Ramen Tatsu-ya for a modern take on a traditional Asian comfort dish.
If you aren't ready for your night together to end, you can head over to Goodnight Charlie's for some live country music and two-stepping in a modern setting. If fancy cocktails are more your late-night speed, you and your partner can try out Anvil Bar & Refuge for a true mixology experience.
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.