10 Animals Who Mate For Life

Let these love stories inspire even the most hardened of cynics

By The Get Leashed Trends Team

Can true love last?

We’ve just passed some of the biggest romantic holidays of the year with New Year’s Eve and others, and are heading towards the holy grail: Valentine’s Day. For some, these marked days are spent celebrating with friends and loved ones (dogs included) being in love or feeling hopeful, while for others, the holidays may bring about feelings we wish we didn’t have like: “Will it happen for me?”.

In a world of Netflix and chill and online dating swiping horror stories, it would be easy to feel cynical and down on love. This is where we look to the animal kingdom to prove that yes, monogamy can be a natural instinct!  These great love stories remind us that life with a partner can be pretty special, and some of the unlikeliest creatures can form emotional, loving bonds.

Here are 10 Animal Pairs Who Mate For Life:

1. Gray Wolf

Doesn’t this look like a charmer? Alpha males pair up with an alpha female to lead their packs. As it turns out, this duo is the real deal, staying monogamous.

2. Macaroni Penguin

Don’t they look dressed up for a date? These dapper Antarctic dwellers get excited when seeing their mate, reuniting at the same mating location each year. Sadly, their population is considered vulnerable.

3. Bald Eagle

This symbol of freedom turns out to be very progressive when it comes to parenting. Male bald eagles help keep eggs warm, and while mates spend winters apart, breeding season brings them back together. Sweet reunion!

4. Swans

You’ve likely seen photos of these literal love birds neck to neck in an oh so romantic heart shape. Well, these beauties do tend to mate for life, however, according to BBC Earth, it’s less about romance and more about saving time and energy. It’s much rarer than in swans other birds, but divorce can occur. When a pair is strong, it shows. They even fight predators as a couple! Romantic.

5. European Beavers

Here in North America, we often consider many things European to be more sophisticated than our versions, from art, to cooking, to music. Well, apparently our North American Beavers are big cheaters on their bonded partners while their Euro cousins remain monogamous. Damn, loyalty can be hard to find.

6. Albatross

Does your partner use wanderlust as an excuse to sow their wild oats? Well, that’s a load of bird poop. These globe traversing birds spend about 95% of their time flying (goals!)  thousands of miles yet their love story is one for the ages.

7. Barn Owl

While these birds live a very solitary existence until finding a mate, once they do, their lives are forever changed. It’s said they form an emotional connection to their partner (we’re not crying, you’re crying!) proving there’s hope for even the shyest species. They even cuddle just to cuddle, not only as a breeding activity.

8. Prairie Vole

As it turns out, calling your miserable ex a rodent is actually unfair to rodents. Biologists studying bonding often look to the Prairie Vole who mates for life. They go further than the adage “til death do us part”, as about 80% of voles in the wild who lose their mate never find another.

9. French Angel Fish

Monogamy in the secret lives of fishes is not that common, but the French Angel fish makes a strong defense against that notion. They have been observed in couples, and pairing off permanently helps them to defend their territory as a team. Further genetic testing of fertilized eggs could prove they’ve duped us all, but for now, we’re believers in their union.

10. Malagasy Giant Rat

These bunny like rats are on the endangered list due to their declining habitat in Madagascar. Once they’ve chosen a mate, they stay together until death does them part.

So if monogamy is for you, don’t let someone tell you it’s just not natural!