Romance As It Is. How Animals Show Love

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 12/23/22 •  4 min read
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How Animals Show Love

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Charles Darwin believed that all higher animals are characterized by the same feelings and emotions as humans – even such complex ones as jealousy and love. In confirmation of this, we have collected various examples of how animals show sympathy for each other and arrange a personal life: they lose their appetite, become jealous, become possessive, and do not forgive infidelity.

Everything is clear with people, they arrange romantic evenings and give gorgeous bouquets of flowers from the best flower shops. They book restaurants, buy presents and order online flower delivery to present valentines flowers to their beloved ones. But let’s see how animals show their feelings.


Animals in the course of courtship demonstrate remarkable perseverance. Most of them get a chance to defeat rivals, win a partner and pass on their genes to their offspring only a few times in their lives. No wonder they are so persistent.

The male giraffe chases the female for hours until she finally agrees to accept his advances. The lioness purrs invitingly rolling on the ground and playfully slapping the male with her paw, after which she suddenly jumps up and runs away, denying him the right to touch her. Tigers have to be no less persistent: the male does not take his eyes off his beloved, “noticing the slightest tremor of her tail.”


Most animals during courtship demonstrate tenderness – the most touching property of human love. This is how biologists describe a couple of beavers in love: “During the day they sleep curled up side by side, and at night they periodically approach each other to comb and smooth the fur of a partner or just sit next to each other and “chat”. At these moments, they make special sounds, the tonality, and shades of which are very similar to those that slip through people when they try to intimately express their love and tenderness.”

The male grizzly pokes his nose into the side of the female and snorts in her ear, begging for a favor. The male giraffe shows his care by rubbing his head against the neck and torso of his partner. The tigress bites the male, gently grabbing the muzzle and neck with her teeth, and gracefully rubs against his sides. A couple of guinea pigs always swim side by side or one under the other, sometimes changing places, but always staying close to each other, patting each other every now and then, rubbing their bodies against each other, touching their mouths, or pretending something like kissing. Chimpanzees hug their lovers, stroke them, and kiss each other’s thighs and bellies.

Partner protection

Since possessive behavior is so widespread in nature, experts have given it a name: partner protection. In their opinion, this desire for sexual exclusivity is one of the central aspects of courtship in many species. As a rule, the male acts as a guard, protecting the female and her health – both from illegally invading strangers and from treason at the will of the lady herself. And there is a severe reason for this, related to evolution. If a male manages to isolate his partner from other males during ovulation, she will bear his offspring, and his genes will be passed on for eternity.

Selectivity in animals

However, animals are very selective.

Of all the properties characteristic of human love and other living beings, none is more pronounced than legibility. You and I are unlikely to agree to jump into bed with the first person we meet who has taken the trouble to wink at us. Similarly, any other creature on the planet will refuse to waste precious time and energy copulating with just anyone. Animals refuse some applicants and choose others.

Ancient Indians called romantic passion “the eternal dance of the universe.” And they were right. Some scientists wonder: how much are animals aware of their own emotions? No one knows that. Nevertheless, animals show increased energy, concentration, euphoria, longing, perseverance, possessiveness, and affection – all signs of animal attraction.

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!