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We see it all the time, “Best First Dates in San Francisco.”  There are great resources out there for meeting someone new these days.

Online dating is no longer weird and every day the romance bloggers have ten new ideas for a first date.  But as a marriage counselor I’m always trying to help seasoned couples find ways to keep the intimacy alive.

When relationship is young, it is easy to be excited.   But long term marriage can be just as fantastic as newness gives way to deeper connection, trust and intimacy.  That said, it is too easy to get into a rhythm with a partner that may be efficient but lacks excitement.  I cannot say enough how important it is to shake up this tendency.

Couples who play together, stay together

So here are some of my best recommendations for long term couples in San Francisco who want to beat back the mundane.

A happy couple in San Francisco

Dinner and a movie in the Fillmore District

Spice up your relationship at Dosa on Fillmore St.  Make sure to order the dahl vada as an appetizer and pick your favorite dosa’s and an uttapam.  The place is elegant yet unpretentious.  The food will snap you two out of routine with the kind of masala you won’t regret.

If you ever thought a movie theater couldn’t be romantic, then you haven’t been to Kabuki.  Brush past the potted bamboo, chat with their savant, movie fanatic staff and head straight into the wine bar.  Grab a glass of pinot and find your seats.  This place is setting a new San Francisco standard for flick watching.

After your film, stroll around the corner to Kabuki Spa for a Japanese bath and a shiatsu massage.  If that doesn’t get you two in the mood then Houston, we have a problem.


A night in the Mission

Hipster mustache not required to have a hot and steamy night in the Mission District.  You need to start this evening a bit early because who knows how much time you will need to spend at Good Vibrations on Valencia St.  Trust me, this is going to strike up some interesting conversation between the two of you no matter how long you have been together.

After you have made some purchases head over to the Rosamunde Sausage Grill (yes we are just going to keep the phallic symbols rolling this evening).  Shake off dinner to some hot and steamy world music at Bissap Baobab only a couple blocks away.

Head home, break out the party favors from earlier and don’t tell me or anybody else what happens next.



Sunset at Sutro Heights Park

Drive into the outer Richmond and start the evening at Sutro Heights Park across from the Land’s End trailhead.  As far as I am concerned it is the best place to watch a sunset in San Francisco.  There are often other couples there doing the same which adds to the charm.

From there head to Pizzetta on 23rd and California.  Pizzetta is the size of a postage stamp but the European style of this little spot will get your love affair back on track.  I love the farm egg pizzetta for at least one main.

Without letting the romance wain, head to Neck of the Woods for some live music or salsa dancing.  They have an upstairs and a downstairs that often feature complimentary live acts of local flavor.


Spend a day in Point Reyes

Head over the Golden Gate and Sir Francis Drake to West Marin.  The San Geronimo Valley will make you want to put away your iPhone, and if not, it won’t get service out there anyway.  Start at Bovine Bakery. They sell amazing home made pastries and breads and great coffee in the heart of Point Reyes Station.

Sip on your java and walk around the corner to Cowgirl Creamery, the all-woman owned cheesery famous for the Mt Tam triple cream.  Put your cheese on ice and go ocean kayaking in the light waters of Tomales Bay.  It is an easy paddle for even first timers. Kayaking is great exercise and you and your sweetheart will be in hog heaven in your tandem paddle boat.

After you have worked up an appetite, head  to the Hog Island Oyster Company.  It is best to reserve a picnic table in advance especially if it is a busy weekend.  Break out your wine and cheese and BBQ some oysters by the bay.  The amazing day and salty aphrodisiacs will make you want to rent the closest B&B.


Buster Posey night

Start your evening at Citizen’s Band.  The food is delicious and the experience quintessential hipster San Francisco.  Don’t come here expecting Gary Danko, but do expect a gourmet burger, mac & cheese and onion rings in a historic, diner style setting. Head just a few blocks away to AT&T Park to watch a San Francisco Giants game.

If you haven’t been, you need to know that SF has the most beautiful baseball stadium in the country, no joke.  Baseball can in fact be romantic in this timeless setting that will remind you of all that is good about our heritage.

After Buster Ballgame and the rest of the Giants remind you why they have won two World Series, leave the stadium at McCovey Cove and stroll up the Embarcadero. Cap off your evenings with an LED light show off the north side of the Bay Bridge and thank San Francisco for giving you sports, art, and beauty.


A happy couple in Alamo Square, San Francisco

About the Author

Cameron Yarbrough is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and founder of Well Clinic. In addition individual and couples therapy, Cameron specializes in executive and leadership coaching in the San Francisco Bay Area.



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    Our couple’s therapy bridged gaps in our relationship and helped us understand each other that much more.

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