In the world of ElfQuest, there are two kinds of mates: lifemates and lovemates. Throughout the course of the ElfQuest adventures there are many characters within the elven race who are one of these kinds of mate classes.
Lifemates are similar to modern day marriage between humans. In this case, lifemates are bound physically and spiritually to each other for the course of their existence. Often time, lifemates will share their soul names with each other, thus deepening their bonds of love.
Lovemates are closer in similarity to modern day dating. Lovemates are generally individuals who do not seek any permanent relationship, often time just seeking out mates for breeding purposes. However, some instances have shown equally strong ties between lovemates such as the case with Wolfrider Pike and Go Back warrior Vaya who shared a one night stand but discovered their bond ran much deeper. Often time, younger elves may begin as lovemates before committing to each other as lifemates, again a similarity to modern dating.