A good friend of mine lives in Houston with her husband, and she’s always talking about how awesome of a city it is, especially for going out and dating. And, from the facts I found, I’d say she’s definitely right.
Its restaurants have the second lowest prices among other major cities, and its Theater District is second only to that of New York City. Not to mention Houston has more parks than any other top-10 metropolitan area and has been called the number one city in the US for young couples.
If you’re looking for ways to meet people and take advantage of everything Houston has to offer, this article can help you. In it, we’re bringing you our 11 favorite ideas!
Houston Dating Sites
More than 49 million people have tried online dating, and 59% of Americans say they think it’s a good way to meet someone. If you’re single and seriously want to do something about it, online dating should be in your arsenal. We’ve narrowed the thousands of options to our top five picks — no matter what your age, race, ethnicity, or interests are.
Best Singles Site
Match was the first dating site ever (circa 1995), and it has created more matches than any of its competitors. And, with 30 million members and counting, the odds are ever in your favor. For free, you can fill out a profile, upload several photos, browse and receive matches based on your criteria, like and wink at members who catch your eye (and vice versa), and receive messages.
Best Site for Professionals
If a college or university education is on your must-have list, you won’t have any trouble finding that at Elite Singles. Over 80% of users hold degrees (e.g., bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate) from higher education institutions. The site’s success rate is one to behold as well. Each month, 2,500 people find love thanks to Elite Singles, and you could be next.
Elite Singles is the premier dating site for educated professionals. Most members are upper-income with college degrees, and its impressive Fraud Detection system ensures no-nonsense dating. Full Review »
|Gender Ratio||M: 43% | F: 57%*|
Over 50 & Senior Site
Dating someone within the same age range is often important to single seniors, and that’s the inspiration behind OurTime. The site wants to streamline the dating process for mature men and women, so it’s meant for those who are at least 50 years old. OurTime isn’t unnecessarily flashy either like some dating sites — what you see is what you get, and it’s intuitive to everyone no matter their technological skill level.
For Black Men & Women Only
BlackPeopleMeet has dedicated itself to helping black and biracial singles meet one another, and it’s led to dozens and dozens of happy relationships. Features include live chat, audio and video messages, icebreaker suggestions, and daily matches. Once you sign up, you can also see who’s viewed your profile, sent you a virtual flirt, or added you to their Favorites list; hide your profile if you meet someone and want to see where things go; and block suspicious members.
Hookup & Sex Site
Adult Friend Finder has the word “friend” in its name, but what the site means is sexy friendship. From hookups to swingers to fetish partners and affairs, Adult Friend Finder welcomes all kinds of frisky people and all kinds of frisky encounters. The site has 77 million members and will help you zero in on your ideal match by showing you who’s online at the same time and allowing you to sort profiles by distance.
Popular Dating Apps
Practically 90% of millennials say their phone never leaves their side. That makes the quality of the apps they put on their phones vital, including those for dating. We can confidently say the three dating apps we’ve chosen are of the highest quality, especially Zoosk. It’ll sync up with social media platforms, like Facebook and Google+, so registration is a breeze.
Zoosk is the number one app for finding dates, and if you sync up your Google+ or Facebook account, you can have a profile in seconds. The app has 38 million members and will deliver matches to your inbox on a daily basis based on your behavior such as who you search for, like or don't like, and message. The Carousel is another section for matching (tap the heart if it's a yes and the X if it's a no).
|Gender Ratio||M: 48% | F: 52%*|
|Available On||iOS, Android|
Available via the App Store and Google Play, Match is a fantastic app for dates and relationships. With a user base of 30 million singles, Match is where you'll have a high chance of success. It's free to download, create a profile, search for and receive matches around the corner and across the world, find missed connections, "like" people, as well as send and receive winks.
|Gender Ratio||M: 49% | F: 51%*|
|Available On||iOS, Android|
Commitment-minded, professional daters will feel at home with Elite Singles, which can be downloaded for free in the App Store or Google Play. Not only is everyone looking for a long-term partner, but 80% of members hold a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree. Elite Singles sees 210,000 visitors and 2,500 users finding love every month, so it's one of the fastest growing and most reputable apps.
|Gender Ratio||M: 43% | F: 57%*|
|Available On||iOS, Android|
Houston Singles Bars
Bars are places people go to for many reasons. Maybe it’s a Friday night and they’re unwinding after a long week at work. Maybe it’s a Saturday and they’re celebrating a family member’s birthday. Maybe it’s a Wednesday and they feel like having a drink with a friend. Whatever it is, bars are a go-to for meeting other singles, and it’s not all about just sitting there and drinking. Lots of bars host trivia nights, holiday parties, tap takeovers, and other activities, so approaching someone becomes less intimidating.
1Anvil Bar and Refuge
Open every day from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Anvil Bar & Refuge and its team are committed to creating drinks only with the finest ingredients and the prettiest presentation and serving them with a friendly smile. The decor is contemporary, yet welcoming, and the menu is huge, yet not overwhelming. The bartenders even have a list of their 100 favorite classic cocktails if you're having trouble deciding what to get.
Washington Ave is where you'll find Julep, and you guessed right -- it's known for its Julep cocktails (e.g., a traditional one, one with honeysuckle, and a sparkling one). The bar also holds an annual Kentucky Derby Party along with many other events, so keep an eye out. To wash down your drinks, you could try the dip trio platter that has sweet potato hummus, french onion, and Southern caviar (aka black-eyed peas).
Poison Girl is a favorite dive bar among Houstonians, particularly for its pinball machines (Spider-Man, Family Guy, etc.), women-inspired art and funky style (a giant Kool Aid Man and Cabbage Patch doll on the patio), and cheap beers and whiskeys ($3 drafts). Chris B. had this to say on Yelp: "Great prices and friendly bartender and an excellent selection on the jukebox make this place bona fide in my book. Thanks for the experience, Poison."
Named the Best Women’s Bar by Outsmart Magazine three years in a row, Pearl is a Houston staple. No matter if you’re there to see a band, comedian, or burlesque show; shake hands with a famous athlete, TV star, or actor; have a chill night on the patio; or dance into the wee hours, you’re going to have a good time. Pearl’s promise is a simple but powerful one: “We pinky swear to continue to be the very best Pearl we can be.”
5The Dirt Bar
"We're Dirt Bar. We play rock 'n' roll" is the motto of our next Houston drinking hole. Dirt Bar strives to be different from every other bar in the city (and probably the world), and it definitely accomplishes that. You won't hear anything on the Top 40 list here, so goths, punks, metalheads, rockers, and other alternatives flock to it. But the Dirt isn't pretentious at all. Not to mention you can go there every day, even on Christmas!
6Kirby Ice House
"Sleek," "upscale," "indulgent," "awesome," and "interesting" are just some of the words that have been used to describe the Kirby Ice House. There are 51 beers on tap and a large selection of wine and liquor if that's what you prefer. Patrons run the gamut, but a lot of young professionals go to Kirby happy hours during the week. However the best part has to be that you can bring your dog!
Good drinks, good food, good times can be a cliché when talking about bars, but it really is true for Community Bar. Located in Midtown, CB, as it's also called, has a chalkboard for its specials and hosts weekly DJ sets, live performances, and steak, burger, and taco nights (food is served until 2 a.m. if you get the drunchies). The atmosphere is super relaxed, too, so when you're not in the mood to get all dolled up, come here and you don't have to worry about it.
The founders of the Dogwood named the place after their grandmother's favorite tree, and they're all about Southern hospitality. The team will treat you just like family, and the space has an at-home feel, with natural stone and wood, a rooftop patio, and private seating. The Dogwood's menu takes its food and drinks to the next level as well, including a burger topped with fried green tomatoes and a Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka.
Houston Speed Dating
We’ve all heard of speed dating — you get to have a few drinks and numerous mini dates (usually lasting between three and eight minutes) in one night. After it’s all said and done, you’ll fill out a piece of paper with the names of the people you want to see again, and the speed dating company will provide their contact information if they feel the same way. These are great for meeting a bunch of people at once and seeing if the initial spark is there.
Houston Singles Events
Singles events provide an opportunity to participate in a hobby you love (or one you’ve always wanted to try) while coming together with others who have that same passion. It could be rock climbing, a mixer, a book discussion, glow-in-the-dark bowling, a painting class, and so much more. Conversations flow easily because you’re both working on the same task or having the same experience, and making a connection feels natural.
Houston Singles Clubs
I’ll admit I’m not much of a club person, but several of my friends are. Sometimes you just want to dance out all the stress from work and life with a bunch of people. Clubs in Houston come in all shapes and sizes — from jazz to rap to line dancing and salsa — so take a look at the HoustonPress’ list to find one that best suits your style. Whether you’re interested in hooking up or dating, Houston has a club (or two or more!) that can meet your needs.
Houston Chat Rooms
Most of us remember the days of AOL, creating a seemingly cool screen name and visiting chat rooms to talk with our friends and people across the world. But those days aren’t completely gone. Today, there are dozens of chat rooms just for dating and just for Houston singles, and we’re fans of the following five.
If you know how to use a dating site, then you’ll know how to use a personals site — they’re extremely similar. Typically, you’ll create an account, add a main profile photo and a few extras, say some things about yourself and your dream date or boyfriend/girlfriend (e.g., they live in Houston), receive matches based on that criteria as well as search on your own. All of these activities are also 100% free to do!
Attend Football, Soccer, Basketball & Baseball Games
According to Bleacher Report, Houston is one of the best cities if you’re a sports fan, so why not kill two birds with one stone by going to some games? If you like baseball, it’s the Astros, while the Texans is the area’s football team. In terms of basketball and soccer, you’ve got the Rockets and Dynamo, respectively. Houston also has minor league teams for other sports like Ultimate Frisbee (the Mud Turtles), in-line hockey (the Venom), and rugby (the Hornets).
A majority of the teams have fan clubs that buy a bunch of seats together or rent private rooms at bars when it’s an away event. Join one of these clubs, and you’re guaranteed to meet people who are just as passionate about sports as you are.
Take Your Dog to a Dog Park
Having your dog around and/or stopping to pet someone else’s dog is hands down the easiest way to start start a conversation. It makes things less awkward because there’s actually a reason for you two to be talking: you both have dogs and are probably asking each other things like their name, age, and breed.
Sign Up for an Exercise Class
If you’re a fitness junkie looking for someone who can keep up, exercise classes are a fantastic option. It doesn’t matter if you’re into Crossfit, running, cycling, skateboarding, yoga, trapeze, or even Parkour — Houston has a class for you. Thrillist has a comprehensive list of activities, including where you can find them, how often they’re held, and how much they cost, so I recommend heading there.
Houston Dating Just Got That Much Easier!
While my friend may be married, that doesn’t mean she and her husband don’t keep up with what’s going on in Houston, particularly for date night. A lot of the suggestions above came from her, as well as my own research, so you can rest assured that your dating life is in good hands. Now get to it!
Photo sources: businessinsider.com, thrillist.com, houstoniamag.com, culturemap.com, houstonpress.com, brendamelgar.com, element5architecture.com