15 Love Lessons Everyone Should Learn From Penguins (Yes, Penguins)

These flightless birds know a thing or two about love.

Penguins teach love lessons everyone should learn. Coral_Brunner, DaydreamsGirl | Canva

We once spent ten days on the continent of Antarctica. While we learned much from the couples we interviewed who live and work in Antarctica, the most important lessons we learned about romantic love and relationships came from penguin love we encountered in Antarctica — particularly the Gentoo, the Adelie, the Emperor, and the Chinstrap. And, as it turns out, penguins and humans have a whole lot in common. They even propose to each other...with a rock and everything. Yep, during mating season a male penguin will go searching for the smoothest pebble to propose to a female with. If she likes it, then she'll place it in her nest. Then the two build up their pebble nest to prepare for eggs! When you think about it, that's pretty similar to us humans.


Here are 15 love lessons everyone should learn from penguins, yes, penguins:

1. Look out for each other

Like humans, penguins live in towns and villages called rookeries, because it's easier to protect each other from predators and the cold weather in groups. And what's nice is that most have a short commute to work finding food.

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2. Have fun and play a lot

Penguins, like humans, love to gather with friends and family to have fun and play. Hanging around with their family gives them particular joy.

3. Communicate effectively

Penguins talk and chat a lot to each other, just like humans. Communication is at the heart of their relationships with each other, just as it is with us.


4. Be a responsible adult

As they grow older, penguins learn to spread their wings, and even though they will never fly, they grow up to be responsible and productive adults. Almost all become parents at some point in their life. Sounds like a familiar human story to us.

5. Build your support network

Sometimes, penguins take trips together with their extended family. Like us, penguins know that friends and family are an integral part of their support network.

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6. Show love to your children

Like us, penguins kiss their babies a lot. Their love and affection for their young is always in evidence.

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7. Smile often

Penguins are certainly a happy lot! They rarely get discouraged and rarely give up on their goals. We humans are like that as well.

8. Watch out for danger

Penguins know the world is full of danger, but you can always count on them to be prudent for their safety and the safety of their family and friends. Likewise, humans teach our children to look left and right before they cross the street, and we do so at a very early age.


9. Shout your love to the heavens

Penguins shout their love for each other by screaming it out loud. They aren't shy about expressing their love for their mate. Saying "I love you" is just a normal part of their day, and they're willing to express their sentiments often. We humans could learn to do a better job of this.

10. Keep your body clean

Penguins love to bathe a lot, especially with each other. They will race to get to the water first. Sometimes a refreshing swim makes them jump for joy.

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11. Be faithful to the one you love

Penguins are monogamous, often having one mate for a lifetime. The death of their life partner is about the only circumstance that causes them to search for a new mate. Maybe younger humans should pay attention to the penguin's model.


12. Stop and smell the roses

Frequently, penguins just stop and admire the view — what we humans would call "stopping to smell the roses." They often stand together to admire the view from where they live and travel.

13. Share the parenting responsibilities

Like humans, penguins share in the nurturing, feeding, and parenting of their children. It's remarkable how penguins demonstrate that birthing, protecting, and raising a child is a shared responsibility of both the mother and the father. You can count on them to work together to build a comfortable nest for their children.

14. Express your love often

Penguins often dance for joy at the sight of someone they love. They sing their love for each other. Penguins are certainly not shy about expressing their love. Like humans in successful relationships, they find that hanging out with their partner is the greatest joy of life.


15. Argue fairly and don't hold grudges

Penguins squawk and oftentimes engage in lively discussions and arguments. They get in each other's faces, but they usually resolve their differences positively. Like human couples, penguins argue. There's nothing wrong with that, but they've learned to argue fairly, and effectively, and rarely hold grudges. Penguins and humans have a lot in common when it comes to marriage and relationships. They have mates, love to be around family and friends, and dearly love their children. They may live at the end of the world, but in the end, we're all very much alike.

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Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz are renowned love and marriage experts and multiple award-winning authors. Their best-selling book, Building A Love That Lasts, provides readers with insightful and practical tips from thousands of happily married couples.