You may have caught yourself speculating about your partner's former flames and wondering whether they've enjoyed the same intimacy that the two of you do now. You may also wonder whether your partner thinks the sex is better this time around. Somewhere there may even be that lingering worry as to whether you can keep things hot between the two of you.

First off, ask yourself why you care so much about what's in the past, advises James Cordova, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts and the author of "The Marriage Checkup". "More often then not, when a person cares to find out about a partner's sexual past, there is some anxiety and concern on their part about the current relationship," Cordova says. "You may just need some soothing from your partner, and to know that your partner is not judging you or comparing you to a previous relationship."

Validate your feelings of needing to know. "It is okay to have curiosity about it," says Robin Kerner, Ph. D, clinical psychologist at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. It's perfectly normal to want to explore the issue. At some point when you are starting to get more serious with someone, the conversation about past relationships is bound to occur. You may feel that learning about your significant other's previous sexual relationships offers a pretty good clue as to how the current one will progress, she explains. So go ahead, have the conversation, and ask the questions: What did you feel was right about other the relationship? What did you feel was wrong about it? Talking things out can be helpful and insightful, Kerner says.

Of course, it's also possible to obsess to the point where it's unhealthy for your current relationship. If you're constantly looking on Facebook and searching for information about your partner's ex or exes to see if they are still in contact with your partner, you need to rethink your motives for knowing. "If you are obsessed with knowing, it makes sense to step back and as yourself why," Kerner says. "You obviously don't want this to take up too much space in your relationship."

Getting Past History

  1. The key to a vivid sexual relationship is to be in the here and now. "Focus on what you have in the moment, not on memories," he says. "You will find the reassurance you are looking for in the present, not by comparing yourself to past relationships."
  2. When you and your partner discuss your sexual pasts, it's important to be open with each other, Kerner says. You both need to agree to be the other's source of primary intimacy, she says. If your partner keeps turning to an ex for emotional support, then you won't have the opportunity to extend it yourself. "In this situation, the relationship may not be all that satisfying because the person is not giving it the proper shot," Kerner says.
  3. Be patient. Just as trust doesn't develop overnight, neither does a satisfying level of intimacy. "It takes both time and effort to build an emotionally and physically intimate relationship," Kerner says.
  4. Remind yourself that there's a reason your partner's not with an ex. "It's easy to be concerned that they won't measure up to a previous relationship and that in some way you will be held in comparison to this idealized other," Kerner says. "It is important to keep in mind that your partner is not in that other pattern with that other partner, but with you."