In the furry fandom, a mate is someone a furry considers their significant other. Mates may exist only in an online relationship, or a mate may refer to a real life relationship, including marriage or long-term relationships. When people consider themselves mates, they are "mated." Mates may be in monogamous pairs, in an open relationship, or part of a polyamorous relationship configuration.
The term mate in its general usage does not imply a single level of commitment. In addition, not all furries use the term mate, preferring traditional labels, such as boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife.
Mate can also mean "good friend" as in "G'Day, Mate!" Or "Crikey, Mate! That's a Biggun!", particularly in the United Kingdom and Australia. This often leads to confusion, especially among American furries, who generally use the term for relationship purposes.