I think y'all are thinking about this too hard. *laughs* I don't think there's anything that happens that makes two elves become lifemates...Recognition is still no guarantee, considering Dewshine and Tyldak, Graywolf and Willowgreen, and Dodia and Door. Recognition does increase the chances of it happening, though. Without Recognition...and even with...I think it's just a conscious decision on each elf's part, and their reasons for when and why they make that decision are different. For Dewshine and Scouter, they were lovemates for so long, and there are a few instances in canon where they talk about why they remain lovemates instead of lifemates. The gist seems to be that there's less pressure. Even though they probably knew they'd be together for life, labeling it as such was too restrictive for them...until they grew to embrace the label. For Nightfall and Redlance, maybe they just felt that they'd outgrown the lovemates label, or that it didn't quite describe who they were. Who knows. For Kahvi and Tyldak, I think that we, as readers, could lump them in to the lifemates category...but I think that the label as they consider it for themselves would be too restrictive as well. And I think it might go against what I consider Kahvi's general view on life. She was so focused on what was happening in the moment, that planning for later just wasn't a big concern. Lifemating implies that one is planning for quite a long-term commitment, and I feel like Kavhi was too adventurous and curious for that kind of label.