We gazed at each other as we said, "I do." I smile as I think of one of the most wonderful blessings that God has given me: the blessing of marriage.

I can’t count the number of times I heard “You’re wasting your time” or “You’ll never meet anyone else.” But buoyed by the confidence and happiness that comes from a healthy relationship, I was more able to recognize and accept the right guy when he came along.

And my experiences on the periphery of non-monogamy taught me a lot about relationships, lessons I’m applying in my new, monogamous relationship.1.

"Ellen, will you put your dating life on the altar?

" This question haunted me for a little while, for I knew that He was asking me to trust Him with the question of marriage.

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By the end of their dinner at a small Italian restaurant in New York’s West Village, Leah is getting antsy to part ways with her boyfriend Ryan, so that she can go meet up with her boyfriend Jim.

It’s not that she means to be rude, it’s just that Jim has been traveling for work, so it’s been a while since she’s seen him. As her “primary partner” and the man with whom she lives, he is the recipient of most of Leah’s attention, sexual and otherwise, but he understands her need to seek companionship from other quarters roughly one night a week.

"But the other side of me was concerned about what this means in terms of intimacy and how the dynamics would work." When Leah and Ryan met at a wedding four years ago, they didn’t expect to develop this type of arrangement.

Neither of them had had an open relationship before, though it was something that Leah had contemplated.

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