Dear Men: What Women Really Want for Valentine's Day (And What We Don't!)

A man’s definition of “romantic” can sometimes feel miles away from what a woman really wants. This Valentine’s Day, the ESSENCE Editors are schooling the fellas to help get everyone on the same page!

ESSENCE Editors Feb, 13, 2015

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A man’s definition of “romantic” can sometimes feel miles away from what a woman really wants. This Valentine’s Day, we’re schooling the fellas to get everyone on the same page!

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DON'T buy me lingerie. (No thanks!) But if you must, make sure it looks like Cookie’s from Empire. - Yolanda Sangweni, Entertainment Editor

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DO recreate a magical moment from our relationship resumé. Take me back to the intimate movie theater we fell in love in or recreate our best trip yet. Women love a romantic trip down memory lane. - Charli Penn, Relationships Editor

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DON'T just pick something. Taking me to "Valentine's Night" at the local chain restaurant is too easy -- the staff did all of the work. It says you put very little thought into what would actually make me the happiest and that I'm going to have the same exact experience as 150 other women that night. Boo! -- C.P.

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DO move your body. A dance routine always puts a smile on my face. A reenactment of that "Can You Stand the Rain" scene from The Best Man Holiday is my dream Valentine gift! -- Charreah K. Jackson, Relationships Editor

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DON’t try to be Christian Grey if you are really more of a Clark Kent type. Play to your strengths and be your own brand of sexy. -- C.J.

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DON'T spend big bucks on something for Valentine's Day that I'll never (ever!) use again. -- Brahaani Mamo, Social Media Manager

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DO buy a thoughtful gift that will still be relevant after the day is long gone. -- B.M.

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DO have a few tricks up your sleeve, please. Surprise me with a cute little note when I wake up or a package of my favorite candy tucked away in my purse. Who knows? We might have a few surprises of our own coming your way. — Taylor Lewis, Editorial Assistant

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DON’T underestimate the value of a low-key night in. A movie, some Chinese takeout and some cuddling can be just as romantic as an elaborate night out. Just plan it with a little TLC. - T.L

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DON’T send me a dozen roses. Roses are cute and lilies are nice, but after a week in a vase, they just become dead roots and dried up leaves sitting in stinky old water. Don't waste your money on a dozen roses that will only become a thorny eye-sore on my desk. -- Jolie A. Doggett, Editorial Intern

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DO send me a pizza! Seriously, the way to my heart is through my stomach. Show up to my house with a pizza box, french fries and a bottle of wine. We'll share a slice and a Valentine's Day you'll never forget. If you feed me, I'll love you forever. -- J.D.

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DO be creative. Handmade gifts go a long way. -- Deena Campbell, Beauty Editor