Frank Ocean is making me feel human again (holy shit I have feelings?)

I just finished reading Frank Ocean’s Tumblr note he posted about his new album Blonde. The text bordered by white stripes in front of a black background made it difficult to read — it had the same effect as one of those black & white swirling patterns I used to stare at as a kid. After squinting my way through the note, I looked up disoriented with blurry eyes.

This is the same reaction I had when I first heard Blonde. My journey through the album confused me. As the album played through I froze several times, disoriented with blurry eyes.

Yeah, that’s right. I teared up listening to music. A lot of people my age are afraid to show that they feel anything genuine, which is numbing. But Frank Ocean’s new album woke me up and made me think about my love life.

All aspects of Frank’s latest bodies of work are intoxicating, dense, and intensely emotional. The albums, the magazine, the “Nikes” video — all layered with themes of conflict, intimacy, sexuality, consumerism, and the passage of time.

The passage of time as it pertains to love has always conflicted me.

Am I rushing into something that’s safe to appease social norms? Or am I waiting too long for what now feels like a pipe dream in the name of “true love”? Is it possible to tread with a balance?

I’m getting older and time is racing against me, so I try to run faster.

Tinder. Bumble. Instagram poses and Facebook relationship statuses. We’re numbing ourselves with attempts at instant gratification and insecure validation. We beg for something real, yet use virtual means to find and validate love.

And Facebook arrived and uhh she wanted me to accept her on Facebook
And I don’t want it because I was like in front of her
And she told me like “Accept me on Facebook”
It was virtual, means no sense
So I say “I’m in front of you, I don’t need to accept you on Facebook”
-“Facebook Story”, ‘Blonde'

People are afraid to be direct with each other. Maybe that’s because we hide behind social media and allow Snapchat filters to convey our feelings.

Nobody asks each other out on “dates” anymore, and being in the midst of peak hookup culture makes people question the significance of sex, and whether or not that person is actually into them. It’s hard enough to build a real relationship, and social media is making it more complex by giving us a wall to hide behind.

Today’s dating landscape is making people play it safe and settle because they’re too invested in what others think, rather than their own desires.

Why play it safe? Why should one ever settle for anything just for the feeling of comfort? The feeling of complete security restrains the full range of possibility. The only way to be free, is to be vulnerable. Finding love isn’t supposed to be easy…it’s supposed to be fucking messy and beautiful.

Call me crazy, but I’d rather be madly in love than just content. If you think you feel the same way but are jaded by the dating landscape in 2016, listen to Blonde— it might make you feel human again.