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Who said romance is dead? In an exclusive iVillage poll, women say romance matters more than expensive gifts this Valentine's Day.
And what exactly do we want more than anything else? A simple "I love you," as 87 percent of women polled told us that hearing those words is the most important part of the holiday.
Surprised? We were too, but perhaps after years of excess followed by a devastating recession, "material girls" are now old-fashioned romantics. Nearly 40 percent of women would choose a romantic weekend away or a romantic dinner with their partner as the gift they'd most like to receive, while less than 1 percent chose an expensive handbag or perfume as their top gift. Even fewer picked a kids-free night or weekend, or having a month's worth of clean laundry done by someone else.
Romance even tops sex! (Sorry, fellas.) Only 4 percent of women chose sex every night of the week as their No. 1 Valentine's Day gift -- although 21 percent put nightly sex as their second or third choice, with 53 percent said that making love on Valentine's Day was important to them.
Jenny Ingram, an iVoice on iVillage, mother of three and blogger, says she'd pick a romantic dinner out with her husband over a night out with the girls. "I would prefer a dinner out with my husband because for my birthday, I go out with the girls," she says with a big smile. "And he just needs time with me. I know it's good for him."
Other interesting results of the iVillage poll:
-- Women don't want men to put a hole in their wallets this Valentine's Day. While 8 out of 10 women are expecting a gift this year, more than half of respondents feel that a gift under $50 is just right, with 31 percent saying a present under $25 is fine for them.
-- Two-thirds of moms say they plan to buy a gift for their kids.
-- 62 percent of married women or women in a relationship say they are looking forward to Valentine's Day, while 1 in 2 single women are definitely not excited about February 14, saying it's just a reminder that they are single and looking.
-- Meanwhile, 47 percent of women surveyed feel Valentine's Day is just a made up holiday, but only 11 percent plan to boycott it altogether.
-- Asked about some of their favorite Valentine's Day traditions, iVillagers mentioned receiving an old-fashioned paper love letter, cuddling up and watching films, and exchanging handmade cards.
We asked for some gift ideas and heard everything from a really affectionate hug and kiss to a donation to charity to an engagement ring! But ladies, don't hold out for that, as only 3 percent of women polled say they got married or engaged on Valentine's Day.
As for the worst Valentine's Day gifts they've received, women mentioned tires, a razorblade to shave their legs and a flannel nightgown -- come on, guys!
"The worst was finding my husband had been posting on a singles' website," says one iVillager. Another says, "A card that said sweet loving things, and then I saw the name above the verse and it was not me. That is how I found out he had a gal pal."
Ingram says her worst gift was "the gift of nothing." Joey Fortman, another iVoice on iVillage, mother of one and blogger says, "When you get a wooden bill organizer for Valentine's Day, not exactly romantic."
Men, don't make that mistake this Valentine's Day -- especially when it looks like a few words will make your sweetheart happiest of all!
What gift do you want to receive this Valentine's Day? Chime in below!