When Did Love Become a Commodity?

Heart from a book page against a beautiful sunset.

Yesterday my ex changed his profile picture.

His bland photo of a local landscape has been swapped for one of the two of them smiling. She’s hugging him from the backside, with her arm wrapped around his shoulders. His hand in hers. Where the wedding ring I gave him once set is now bare.

The picture was taken at a restaurant, and they’re sitting side-by-side like we used to. Both of them are looking at the photographer with that satisfied, all’s-right-with-the world grin. The one that says they couldn’t be happier.

At the sight of this, a knife went through my heart and tears flooded my eyes.

It’s been four short months since he walked out on me, saying he can’t do it anymore. How is it that he’s grinning at the world as if we never existed? Where is his tear-stained pillow? His display of grief and sadness that we’re over?

Why is he enjoying the joys of love when I’m home alone day after day? How is it he has her kisses on his lips when mine haven’t known the taste of another? Why should he be wrapped in the embrace of her arms when mine are empty? Why is his other side of the bed warm when mine is cold and barren?

What about all the promises he made to me? That I was his one and only. That he’d never met anyone like me before. That he’d never been happier.

Did they mean anything or were they just cotton candy — sweet but empty?

He told me he loved me more. More than I loved him. More than I’d ever been loved before. He said he loved me more than I could ever know. More than I could fathom.

And yet he walked out right into her waiting arms

What am I do with my shattered reality and hurting heart? Were those promises just empty lies?

It was real to me. With “I do” I committed myself to this man until my dying breath. How was I to know his lasted as long as the thrill remained?

I promised he was my one and only. I committed I would have eyes for him. How could I know his promises lasted as long as it took for someone else to catch his attention?

How did it come to this?

It would make sense if my situation was the fluke. An oddity. That I had had the bad luck of picking the lemon out of a batch of amazing guys.

Why is it then that I’ve met hundreds of women in this same position? With broken hearts and shattered lives?

How did so many men learn to ply us with sweet words of love and commitment?

How do they know how to tell us what we need to hear so we will trust them with our hearts and our bodies?

Since when did women become a novelty that lasts as long as we intrigue and interest our partner instead of being seen as an enduring friend, confidant, and lover?

When did sexual intimacy become a commodity instead of a pledge?

What has happened to us as a society?

When did we lose our soul?

Yesterday my ex changed his profile photo

where once it was the two of us, it’s now the two of them.