Love looks different for every single person.
In episode three, Frank tells Bill, “Love me the way I want you to.” And that’s an important thing to remember. When you’re in love with someone, you should pay close attention to their love language because the things that you expect from them could be entirely different than what they expect from you. Although it’s the thought that counts, it’s much more thoughtful to pay attention to your partner’s desires than to assume your ideas are superior. If you want your love to last, love them the way they want you to — and that starts by listening.
You can love again after having your heart shattered.
It isn’t easy for Joel to open his heart again after losing his daughter, but he allows himself to grow close to Tess. And slowly but surely, he is allowing himself to grow close to Ellie. Even though his losses have deeply wounded him, he still says, “You keep going for family. That’s about it.” He might not even realize it himself, but he believes that loving is worth the trouble, worth the pain, worth the uncertainty. Although he’s had his heart shattered in the past, his heart isn’t broken beyond repair. He’s able to love again.
Even the strongest relationships aren’t going to be easy all the time.
When you’re in love, the relationship isn’t going to be fun and exciting all the time. It won’t even be happy all of the time. There will be stressful moments, speed bumps that challenge the strength of your love for each other. However, if you are committed to each other and are both willing to put in the effort, you will get through those tough times. Frank put it beautifully when he said, “I’ve had a lot of bad days. I’ve had bad days with you too. But I’ve had more good days with you than with anyone else.”
Love makes you vulnerable.
Loving someone is always a risk. There’s always a chance you’re going to get your heart broken in the end, whether it’s on the day that you break up with them or the day that they die. But that risk is worth taking. Bill delivers one of the most beautiful lines of the series when he says, “I was never afraid until you showed up.” But he clearly doesn’t regret gaining that fear. The reward is worth the risk. Loving someone is worth the heartache they could potentially bring one day.
Love can be downright dangerous.
If you’ve played the video game, you know how dangerous love can be — and you’re already seeing this in the show too. Characters in TLOU kill to protect their loved ones and to avenge their loved ones. They will go to great lengths for the people they consider family. Love can bring out your softest side, but it can also bring out your most brutal instincts. Like writer Neil Druckmann has stated, “That kind of love, that unconditional love, is beautiful and can be scary at the same time.”