10 Animals That Symbolize Love & Creative Ways to Use the Symbols

Show your date or partner how much you care with these ideas that are themed around animals that symbolize love!

Published January 23, 2023

Adorable Animals That Represent Love


Sometimes the best way to show your sentiments is through symbolism. If you are wondering what animal represents love, look no further! There are many animals that have symbolism tied to love and romance, and you can see some of the best examples here. Plus, get creative ways that you can use these symbolic animals to up your dating game - as fun nicknames, as date ideas or themes, or to incorporate into gifts for your sweetheart.



These fanciful seabirds are a symbol of love, devotion, and community. Every year, penguin couples search for their mates, reuniting to continue their family line. This partnership begins after the male penguin presents the female with a pebble, just as a human offers a ring. If the female accepts, they build their nest to prepare for their future family. This commitment is hard to beat, making these adorable animals a solid representation of love.

Possible Nicknames for Your Mate: Pen, King, Ice Pop, or Skipper

Date idea: Visit a penguin encounter at SeaWorld or your local zoo or aquarium. Or, cozy up with a penguin documentary like DisneyNature's Penguins.

Gift Ideas: Wouldn't it be cool to adopt a real life penguin? While you can't actually take the little guy home, a company named Fahlo makes animal-themed bracelets that come with tracking information to let you follow your penguin's journey through life. Best of all, they partner with non-profit organizations, like the Global Penguin Society, to raise money for conservation efforts. This can make a great anniversary present that honors one of the top animals that symbolize love!



Swans are another animal type that partners up for life. What many people don't realize is that their mating ritual involves bowing their heads. This many times forms the universal symbol for a love - a heart.

Additionally, in Greek mythology, these beautiful birds represent a person's soul. Since soulmates and love are synonymous, these gorgeous relatives of the goose are the perfect portrayal of grace, love, and loyalty.

Possible Nicknames for Your Mate: Goose, Trumpet, or Odette

Date ideas: Check if your local conservation department offers a swan tour, or rent a small boat at a local lake and take your sweetheart out for a romantic ride. If you want to go all out, get tickets to see a performance of Swan Lake as a meaningful way to show your Odette how much you care!

Gift Ideas: When it comes to romantic gifts, you can never go wrong with jewelry or wine! There are an array of brooches, bracelets, and necklaces that feature these beautiful birds. There is also a swan winery in California. Consider gifting one of their many varietals! For the weather enthusiasts, a swan barometer can be a beautiful gift to display in the home.



In Greek mythology, dolphins are associated with Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. She is said to have been born out of the ocean's sea foam and is often depicted with these joyful creatures at her feet. Dolphins are exceptionally smart and while they don't mate for life, they do build complex social networks and frequently show empathy and compassion for other species. These qualities make them another wonderful symbol for love and friendship.

Possible Nicknames for Your Mate: Dolly, Flipper, or Squeaks

Date ideas: A dolphin sightseeing tour is a great option if you live in an area where it's available, or visit a dolphin exhibit at an aquarium. For a more active date, you can even get in the water and swim with the dolphins at some locations!

Gift Ideas: While you can also adopt a dolphin, why not swim past the tide and gift something a bit more unique? There is an array of resin beach art that you can buy with dolphins built into each piece. From monogram initials to dolphin decor, these can make for a flippin' awesome gift!



Throughout literature, we see horses as a part of grandiose love stories. In real life, horses are loyal and affectionate animals. They don't mate for life, but they do travel in herds and watch out for one another. Since loyalty is linked to love, horses make for a fitting figure of fondness.

Possible Nicknames for Your Mate: Stallion, Stud, TC (for triple crown), or Beauty (in reference to Black Beauty)

Date ideas: If horses are your love symbol, elevate date night into a romantic excursion! There are places all over the globe that offer affordable horseback riding lessons. You can also raise the stakes and get your love a horse-drawn carriage or you can book a trip to see the horse races in the spring. You can also volunteer at an equine rescue center together for a date you can feel good about.

Gift Ideas: If you want something tangible, horses are prevalent figures in art, so consider gifting a painting or figurine that you can display in your home.



For those who call Sweden and Belgium their home, ladybugs are a sign of good luck. More specifically, if a ladybug lands on the hand of a lady, it is said that she will be married within the year. This makes this lovely little beetle another symbol of love.

Possible Nicknames for Your Mate: Love Bug, Bug, or Lady

Date idea: Have your own at-home sip and paint and create a ladybug-themed work of art or home decor item together with an online ladybug painting tutorial. Or make a gratitude list together of just how "lucky" you to be a couple.

Gift Ideas: For the couples who are celebrating this day of love at home, a thoughtful gift for your love bug is homemade chocolate-covered strawberries! All you need is black and white chocolate melting wafers, strawberries, and two piping bags. Add some champagne and you have a romantic dessert for two.



These beautiful white birds have always been associated with peace and love. In fact, they are found in Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and Hindu religious texts. Turtle doves also symbolize fidelity. This is one of the many reasons couples release these magnificent creatures at the end of their weddings. They symbolize the new union and the couple's commitment to one another.

Possible Nicknames for Your Mate: Lovey Dovey, Turtle, or Sky

Date ideas: Use a dove identification site and look for doves in your area. Or, build a birdhouse together and stock it with dove-attracting seed!

Gift Ideas: Every Christmas season, turtle dove ornaments and figurines pop up in stores. These can be a sweet reminder of your love and you can keep them out all year long! For plant lovers, consider gifting a mourning dove-themed vase or planter. These pretty birds build their nests in and around gardens, making this a fitting gift. If you buy a vase, you can elevate your present by putting the same flowers you had at your wedding inside.



Sharing 96 percent of our DNA, it is no surprise that gibbons mate for life. These primates form strong emotional bonds and they even sing duets with their mates! Researchers note that there is a direct correlation between their duetting intensity and the strength of their bond. Gibbons show great compassion and care for their partners, making them another animal that symbolizes love.

Possible Nicknames for Your Mate: Monkey, Nana, Kong, or Abu

Date ideas: Show your love and take a romantic sunset stroll around the zoo. You can explore the many monkey exhibits and actually get to slow down and talk with your partner in life. Or, check out your local Museum of Natural History for exhibits of how primates have changed over time.

Gift Ideas: If monkeys are your love symbol, then make your Abu something yummy to eat! Monkey bread has been around since the late 1800s and it has stayed popular for a reason.



As their name implies, lovebirds are affectionate little parrots who actually pine for their mates when separated. Just like in the Lady and the Tramp, lovebirds are known for feeding rituals that end in a kiss. These brightly colored birds are a symbol of eternal love and are first depicted in this light in Geoffrey Chaucer's 1382 poem Parlement of Foules. This makes them one of the oldest symbols of this feeling!

Possible Nicknames for Your Mate: Lark, Trumpet, or Lovie

Date ideas: Visit the bird exhibit at your local zoo, or check out a pet store to see lovebirds up close and personal.

Gift Ideas: Since lovebirds live in trees, why not gift an item that circles around this theme? Custom cutting boards are not only a thoughtful gift but also a useful one as well. Sites like Etsy are filled with beautifully designed products that are sure to wow your little lark. Best of all, you can use this piece to prepare a romantic dinner for two after the gift is given.



Known for being monogamous creatures, beavers are famous for not only mating for life, but sharing the 'household duties.' These include "territory maintenance and parental care." This makes them a prime example of the perfect couple.

Possible Nicknames for Your Mate: Chuck, Paddles, Chubbs, or Woody

Date idea: Go for a walk near a local stream or lake and see if you can spot a beaver dam as you enjoy nature together.

Gift Ideas: Let's just call it like it is - these chubby, paddle-tailed, bucktooth rodents are anything but romantic. However, for those who live in the Southern United States, this animal is the mascot of a beloved gas station chain. Yes, you read that right. Consider stopping at your local Buc-ee's and picking up some Beaver Nuggets, Bucky stuffed animals, mugs, and shirts for your love!



What is love? According to YourDictionary.com, this emotion is defined as "a strong feeling of affection and concern toward another person, as that arising from kinship or close friendship." If you wanted to sum that up in one word, "dog" comes to mind. These furry friends are the definition of unconditional love and devotion. Not only that, but wild canids, like grey wolves, are monogamous by nature. The male and female alphas of the pack are the only ones who are allowed to breed and they stay by each other for life.

Possible Nicknames for Your Mate: Pooch, Cuddles, Alphie, or Bandit

Date ideas: If you have dogs as pets, take them to a new dog park together. You can also visit a local shelter and volunteer to walk dogs together, or even consider being part of a dog foster care program.

Gift Ideas: In terms of dog-themed gifts, the world is your oyster! You can buy dog-themed coffee that gives proceeds back to rescue pets, canine-inspired spirits for the whiskey, bourbon, or wine drinker in your life, or you can turn their best friend into a work of art. You can also book a puppy party, which is guaranteed to bring a lot of joy.

Showing Your Love Starts With the Meaning Behind These Symbols


Animal-themed gifts, date ideas, and pet names can be a great way to show affection. However, it's more important that you take a page from these creatures' love playbooks! Be a good friend to your partner, like a dog. Help with household and family tasks, like a beaver. Honor your commitments, like a penguin. These actions will show your significant other that your love for them is primal.

10 Animals That Symbolize Love & Creative Ways to Use the Symbols