When you’re in a relationship for a long time, things start to become routine and familiar. It can be a good thing—for your sex life especially. Even if you have a rocky relationship with your ex, clicking in the bedroom can smooth over a lot of the cracks. You know what they like and vice-versa, and you’re both on the same page about where the lines are. Knowing you can satisfy your partner behind closed doors is good for your self-confidence and your ego!

Getting back into the dating pool after a lengthy relationship can be a little scary—especially when it comes time to get under the covers. The sex you have with someone new won’t be the sex you had with your ex, and that can be a little intimidating at first. What do they like? What don’t they like? What if they’re into things you’re not, or vice-versa? It’s easy to get inside your own head and overthink it.

Before you know it, your confidence is shot and you’re more worried about what you’re doing wrong than whether you’re both enjoying it. Just as easily as great sex can boost your confidence and inflate your ego, bad sex can tear it all down. It’s part of the reason so many people run back to their ex—or why the drunk text to your ex at 1am is so popular.

So, what are you supposed to do? How can you recapture a healthy, fulfilling sex life after years of intimate, familiar sex with one person?

The key to rediscovering sex after divorce is to look at it as something brand new again. This isn’t sex after your ex—this is sex for the first time. Each new person you’re intimate with is a new experience. And, like all new experiences, you need to go in with fresh eyes and an open mind. Here are a few tips:

  • Start slow and don’t feel rushed. The odds of having mind-blowing, earth-shattering sex with someone new are low. As long as you both are having fun, that’s what matters. Sex should be enjoyable!
  • Be upfront and unburden yourself before you head into the bedroom. There’s no shame in being monogamous for years and feeling a little unfamiliar with a new partner. If you’re upfront about it, it helps set expectations for you both.
  • Reset your boundaries and work outward. Just because you’re into something doesn’t mean your new partner is. Start vanilla and feel your way out from there. Pay attention to what they like and don’t be afraid to chat a little in the heat of the moment.

Above all, don’t compare the sex you’re having to the sex you used to have! Go in with an open mind and try to enjoy it for the new experience it is. Focus on the exciting factors of the situation and have a good time! Chances are, your date will too.

One final tip for all the freshly divorced back-in-the-dating-pool individuals out there. If you’re really struggling to find your confidence when it comes to sex, find someone to talk to. Sometimes all you need to do is get your stress off your chest. The best thing is being able to talk openly with the person you’re planning on being intimate with. Making a real connection emotionally first paves the way for a real connection when the lights (and the clothes) are off.