By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.
We just returned from the trip of our lifetime together – all 47 years of it. We spent ten days on the continent of Antarctica. Oh, my, what a wonderful trip it was! As human beings, we will never be the same!
For us, it was the 7th and final continent in our journey in search of great marriages around the world. Our project has taken 31 years to complete. We have interviewed couples in all 50 states of the union, 47 foreign countries, and on all seven continents of the world. And what a journey it has been.
Over the ten days we explored Antarctica, we interviewed couples that live and work there, observed the wildlife, and learned a lot of valuable lessons.
The most important lessons of all are the lessons about love and relationships that we learned from the Penguins of Antarctica – particularly the Gentoo, the Adelie, the Emperor, and the Chinstrap. They are all interesting to observe, to say the least.
The truth is, we learned over the course of our observations that Penguins and humans have a whole lot in common. In fact, it is clear to us that Penguins and humans share many common and pervasive characteristics when it comes to love and life. Here is what we mean.
Like humans, Penguins are very sociable. They live in towns and villages called rookeries because it’s easier to protect each other that way and find food and water for themselves and their children. And what’s really nice – most have a short commute to work!
Like their human brethren, Penguins talk and chatter a lot to each other! Communication is at the heart of their relationships with each other, just as it is with humans.
As they grow older, Penguins learn to spread their wings, and even though they will never fly, they grow up for the most part to be responsible and productive adults. Almost all become parents at some point in their life. Sounds like a familiar human story to us.
Sometimes they take trips together with their extended family. They share this characteristic in common with us humans as well!
They smile a lot. Penguins are certainly a happy lot! They rarely get discouraged and almost never give up on their goals. We humans are like that as well.
Penguins travel together in groups in order to protect each other from predators and from the cold weather. They cover each other’s backside! You can count on their loyalty to their family and friends. Sounds like us humans, huh?
Like us, they kiss their babies a lot! Their love and affection for their young is always in evidence.
They almost always look left and right before crossing the street (path)! They know the world is full of danger, but you can always count on them to be prudent and careful – for their safety and for the safety of their family and friends. We humans teach our children to look left and right before they cross the street, and we do so at a very early age.
They shout their love for each other by screaming it to the heavens! They are not shy about expressing their love for their mate. Saying “I love you” is just a normal part of their day and they are willing to express their sentiments often. We humans could learn to do a better job of this by observing the Penguins!
Penguins look out for each other. They gather in groups for mutual protection. Like us, they know that friends and family are an integral part of their support network. They depend on this simple notion for their survival.
They love to bath a lot, especially with each other. They will race to get to the water first! Sometimes a refreshing swim makes them jump for joy! Sounds familiar, huh?
Frequently, they 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. We humans should do more of this.
They are monogamous, often having one mate for a lifetime. Death of their life’s 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!
Like humans, they share in the nurturing, feeding, and parenting of their children. It is 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 confortable nest for their children.
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.
They often times engage in lively discussions and arguments, and get in each other’s face, but they usually resolve their differences in a positive fashion. Like human couples they argue – there is nothing wrong about that – but they have learned to argue fairly and effectively, almost never holding grudges. You can learn a lot from a Penguin.
Sometimes, they squawk and debate loudly with their friends and family and don’t listen effectively. But these encounters rarely last for long and almost nearly always have an amicable outcome. The truth is, Penguins seem to have learned the art of arguing effectively! We humans should follow their model!
It is clear that Penguins and humans have a lot in common when it comes to marriage and relationships. They have mates – often for a lifetime – love to be around family and friends, and dearly love their children.
You can learn a lot about marriage and relationships from Antarctica Penguins! They may live at the end of the world, but in the end, we are all very much alike.
You can learn a lot about successful love and relationships from Penguins. Watch the Penguins of Antarctica YouTube video/photo essay we created so you can see our Penguin friends in action!
By Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts
Creating a successful marriage is not always the easiest thing to do. Your visiting our blog suggests you are highly interested in making your marriage work! And truthfully, we have learned over 30 years of marriage research that there are proven effective ways to ensure a happy and healthy marriage. In fact, we took hundreds of tips from the thousands of happy couples we interviewed and put them into our award-winning and bestselling book, Building a Love that Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage
In love and marriage the simple things matter. Love well!
As America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts and award-winning authors, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz help international audiences answer questions about love, marriage and relationships. With over 30 years of research on love and successful marriage across seven continents of the world and their own 46-year marriage, the Doctors know what makes relationships work.
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