Ever been out with someone new and of nowhere it hits you: “Damn,” you think. “Marcus kind of reminds me of a hedgehog.” Or “Isn’t Maria a little bit of a prairie dog?” Before too long, all you see is a small needled creature foraging for food, or a big kitty skulking through the jungle, or maybe a tiny rodent digging around in dirt. This happens so often that we’ve learned to categorize some of these spirit animals. Here are a few of our favorites.
The Labrador Retriever
You’ll know a canine spirit animal when you see it — chatty, loyal and very gregarious. Dogs hate to be alone, so you’ll find them in a pack, roaming about always ready to eat or drink. Normally dog spirit animals have an athletic build or one slightly on the round side from too much noshing.
Mating call: Buying a round of drinks for you and your friends. Sloppily kissing you and texting the next morning to tell you how great you are.
First date activity: A baseball game with tons of beer and hot dogs.
Break up style: Tears, tears and even more tears. Will call and text for weeks afterward.
Best Match: Stallion.
American Shorthair cat
The feline spirit animal will disappear for a week, only to resurface with backstage tickets for your favorite band. Flawlessly dressed and reserved, these introverted types are great to look at and know more about most things than you.
Mating call: Genuinely listening and making intense, sexy eye contact.
First date activity: An underground party you never knew existed in the coolest part of town.
Break up style: Picking a fight and impulsively calling it off. Blocking you on social media soon after.
Best Match: Great White Shark
Bird of Paradise
Wiry and thin in stature, bird spirit animals are easily distracted and flighty. Full of adventurous ideas, you can depend on these winged pals to be down for any kind of adventure — the more exotic the better.
Mating call: Bonding over colors during a painting class, being wowed away by their zany ideas.
First date activity: Early evening dance party on a rooftop.
Break up style: The considerate fadeout. Birds love their freedom, so it’s likely you’ll only date these creatures for a hot minute anyway.
Best Match: Dolphin
Taller than average, with a medium to large build and striking features, horse spirit animals are hardworking, pleasant and often a little set in their ways. While they may err on conservative, a good stallion will happily be your rock during any difficult time.
Mating call: Flipping their hair and flashing a confident grin.
First date activity: Going for a hike on a pretty spring day.
Break up style: Stallions are steady and loyal, so breakups are less frequent. But if wronged, they’ll chat it out in person or send a heartfelt letter.
Best Match: Labrador Retriever
Long and lean with intense, beedy eyes, those drawn to danger and intensity can’t get enough of these slithery folks. They often have amazing business acumen, wear a lot of black and have tons of money.
Mating call: Impressive dance moves.
First date activity: Drinks at the swankiest, if not the sleaziest, hotel in the city.
Break up style: A disappearing act.
Best Match: Other boa constrictors, Great White Sharks
Always laughing and joking around, dolphins are fresh-faced and witty with very intense sex drives. Often incredibly attractive and athletic, you can find a dolphin playing volleyball on the beach or teaching an aerobics class at the gym.
Mating call: Pinching your butt.
First date activity: Wine tasting in a group, dazzling everyone with their funny quips.
Break up style: A plea for an open relationship, with an iron clad argument against monogamy.
Best Match: Bird of Paradise.
These sweet souls are slow moving, agreeable and unambitious. Quiet but deceptively smart, these types often work in the same job for 25 years, making their way up the ranks at a relaxed pace. Big readers.
Mating call: Inviting you over for Netflix and pizza.
First date activity: Netflix and pizza.
Break up style: Wait for the other person to do it.
Best Match: Other sloths.
Great White Shark
Gorgeous and impossibly put together these fast moving folks carry an aura of excitement. Sharks command a quiet respect and basically get whatever they want wherever they go. Sharks have an amazing ability to be both liked and feared.
Mating call: Makes you feel special by picking you out the crowd and ignoring everyone else.
First date activity: Catering to your weak spot. Whether it be booze, drugs, shopping or food, the shark will be ready to shower you with the absolute best of it.
Break up style: A three word text message or 2-minute phone call.
Best Match: Boa Constrictor, American Shorthair, Other Sharks
One minute they’re cuddling with a sloth, the next playing with a dolphin only to match wits with a cat the following week — who are these animals? A chameleon will alter themselves to fit in wherever they are and this fluid sense of self is their best and worst quality.
Mating call: Passionately agreeing with you.
First date activity: Whatever you want.
Break up style: None.
Best Match: Everyone … and eventually no one.