“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” - Lao Tzu

Valentine’s Day is upon us and romance is in the air. Well at least that is what the marketers want us to believe. Last year it was estimated that we spent approximately 17.6 billion dollars on the romantic day, and it is estimated that 10.3 billion of that is spent on our significant other. That is a whole lot of money to show our affection for one another. It is also estimated that as a society, we spend half a billion dollars on our pets for Valentine’s Day; now that blows my mind, however that is a whole other article.

My husband and I will celebrate our seventh anniversary just a few days before Valentine’s Day.It will mark nine years that we’ve been together in total. Nine years and four kids later, make for busy lives. Busy lives that tend to get in the way of our personal lives with our significant other. Busy lives that can make us grow apart from one another and sometimes forget what brought us together in the first place.

So how do we keep it all fresh and new and spark-filled like all the commercials tell us we have to? I have absolutely no idea. I wish I knew because a few billion of those dollars would be in my pocket. The only true way to keep the fresh, the new and the spark is free. Yup free, not a penny to be made by anyone, zero billion dollars.

Time
Ah yes…the cursed four-letter word that no one has enough of and everyone is searching for more of. I wish you could buy time by the dozen all wrapped up with a bow. Taking a little time just for each other as often as you can is so important. Even ten minutes to sit down and have a coffee together and a quick chat.

Care
Another four-letter word that can be so hard to do. Every day try and do something or tell your partner that you care. Not that you love them, but use the word care. Knowing that someone cares for you is a very powerful thing, and simple to do.

Hear
When is the last time you sat and listened to your partner, like really listened? No phone, no television in the background, no kids interrupting. Just sat and listen to your partner talk about anything and everything. Try it, what you hear may amaze you.

The best part of these tips is that you can do all three at once, this will really help with the time aspect. What amazed me the most about when my husband and I tried this for the first time, was how awkward it felt. We sat down with a cup of coffee to talk, listen and care, we ended up sitting in silence for the first five minutes. Not a word, then we broke out into laughter.

When did it become so weird to just be with someone? How dependent had we become on having distraction in our lives?

Leave a comment below or join the conversation on Twitter @slice_tv.

Dee Brun is the award-winning author of Libations of Life: A Girl’s Guide to Life One Cocktail at a Time, a cocktail chef and stylist, TV personality, home entertaining guru, writer, humorist, wife, mother of 4, TV Junkie, shoe-aholic, and borderline George Clooney stalker. Read her column, Isn’t it Dee-lightful, every Friday on Slice.ca.