A survey by Elite Singles polled 200 Kiwis on the Valentine's Day present they want most this year - with some surprising results.

In an age where it seems letter writing is all but dead, sixty per cent of Kiwis said the Valentine's gift they want most in 2017 is a love letter. And another 81 per cent believe exchanging amorous notes is vital in keeping a romance alive.

READ MORE: • People reveal the real reason they're single

Beyond the surprising request topping many Kiwis' lists, other V Day wishes are pretty generic, with fine dining the second most popular. But the go-to gift of flowers and chocolate received only 12 per cent of the votes.

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Before you close this article to send a quick, emoji-laden text or email, the survey reveals that's not going to cut it, unless your beloved is one of just five per cent of respondents that deemed them more romantic than a handwritten letter.

How to write the perfect love letter

So how do you go about crafting the perfect letter to express your love?

No need to Google thesaurus.com just yet. Eighty-two per cent of respondents said a letter written from the heart was more special than beautiful poetry.

However, the survey results suggest timing is everything: 23 per cent of Kiwi men said they would use a love letter to express their interest in someone before dating them, while only 11 per cent of women said it would be appropriate.

And almost 90 per cent of women preferred to wait until they were exclusive before they received a heartfelt ode from a new Romeo.