As time goes on in a relationship, routine prevails.  If you live together, the routine might be: come home, change out of your power suits and into your go-to at-home uniform (e.g., sweats and a T-shirt). You sit down on the couch and laze around the apartment catching up on one another's day, before passing out cuddled up on the couch.  Although routine is all well and good, changing it up every now and again adds for some added excitement, stimulation and forces you to get out.

Pulling off a change to the normal plan isn’t always easy – especially when your home seems to be calling your name, and your heels are begging to be taken off.  Here are some tips on how to go on a casual date with your other half.  A date which – it should be noted – differs from your usual weekend dates that are planned and a little more elaborate. 

1. Wrap your head around "the idea" of it. Though it doesn’t have to happen often, it’s often refreshing to break free of the same old patterns. Once we get home after a long day, we tend to lose motivation to head out (even if it’s planned in advance). Instead of rushing into your place (and into your PJs) after work, flirt with the idea of forcing yourself to stay out of the house.  Before we take action, we need to get comfortable with the idea of it. Begin thinking of coffee shops or local restaurants or bars you can visit en route home.  Baby steps.

2. Make it easy. Instead of making set plans to do something after work, send your man a text at the end of day to let him know you’re around the corner (at a venue of your choice) and to come meet you there, instead of going home. Without the pressure of set plans, the spontaneity will tempt him to come join.

3. Convenience is key. If you choose the coffee shop beneath your building, or a great bar a block away, he’ll be more likely to take you up on your offer.  If he usually comes straight home anyways, this impromptu plan won’t throw him off his track.

4. Light and leisurely. When choosing a place to meet, suggest something that is comparable to what the two of you tend to do after work, as opposed to suggesting he meet you at a new yoga class.  A coffee, drink or after-work apps are all activities that are low on energy and can allow you to stay within a reasonable budget.

Sure you might love your daily ritual, and no, there’s nothing wrong with being a self-proclaimed homebody, but life is for the living.  Relationships are all about growing together as a couple.  Growth comes from experience.  Perhaps something as simple as changing up your routine can add some excitement and variety to do just that, non?

Jen Kirsch is a relationship expert, columnist and blogger. For quick tips and tricks, follow her on Twitter @jen_kirsch. Read her posts every Tuesday on