In our new series, The Techy Tantrika: Sex + Love Wisdom, Tantric sex and singles relationship coach Devika J. Singh dishes out advice for navigating the tricky terrain of modern dating.

So often I bear witness to the comparison games we play. A time-honoured single-player choose-your-own-disaster pastime that results in a trip to the familiar coastlines of self-pity, mistrust and despair.

We get trapped by a weary old siren who, on command, will rattle off an overhashed remix of a tune that’s wayyy past its prime. And it goes a ‘lil somethin’ like this:

“Why am I not good enough?”
“If only I had more hair.”
“Maybe if I had less hair? –”
“Maybe if I had more boobage?”
“Maybe if I was skinnier?”
“Maybe if I was thicker?”
“I don’t look like someone from a magazine.”
“I look TOO much like someone from a magazine.”
“I came off totally stupid.”
“Shit, why did I use compound words?”

Sound familiar?

How long have you been playing this game? And why? Because it sounds familiar? Safe? Reliable?

If you keep hearing this all up in your head, there must be something to it, right? There has to be a reason you keep picking the jerks and the losers you date (or hangout with), a reason you just keep striking out in the ‘game’ of love. A reason you keep getting passed up for promotions. A reason that your friends talk at you and somehow never hear you.

What if I told you that all of this is your ‘fault,’ but not for the reasons you think?

You can let your problems keep putting you down. But you can also look at them as an opportunity to stand your ground. Could you do that? Could you be in your own corner? Could you be there for you, even if no one else seems to be?

In a perpetually changing world that’s reliable only for the change it brings, why is it that we can’t expect the same of ourselves? If the world around us constantly brings us new, well, everything, at any point of every day, then why aren’t we welcoming these changes as contributions to our own endless change?

Even our emotions change from moment to moment! So why aren’t we using this knowledge to our advantage? If our lives and our world are constantly evolving, at every bump in the road we are contributing to our own evolution.

What if every jerk or fuckboy we encounter teaches us something about our own authentic value and what we truly crave and deserve in love? Or every promotion we’re passed up for is just another reminder of that business we need to start or that friend who said you’d be a perfect fit at the company they work for?

Why are we so hard on ourselves for our own ‘mistakes’/‘failures’/’shortcomings’ when we are perfectly accepting that the world around us is flawed? Or that we can actively work to change the things we don’t like in our world? Surely, if we can accept or work to change what’s “out there,” we can accept and compassionately work towards cultivating our own evolution.

With the fierce upsurge of online self-acceptance movements like this amazing viral video that sheds light on the ‘marriage market’ in China, or this South Asian hashtag campaign, #UnfairAndLovely that dares to tackle shadeism, we heed a call to action that implores us not only to change the way we view our externals, our bodies and our lives, but to also observe the unrealistic games we play every time we pretend to live another person’s reality at the cost of our own. These campaigns almost magically provide us with a window into realizing just how universal the pain of comparison is, and precisely how much we can no longer ignore what truly needs resolving inside.

When it really comes down to it, how much of what we feel is ‘wrong’ with ourselves is actually tied to the games we play alone? If we invited ourselves to indulge in lasting self-care in its various forms, and show ourselves compassion for every trial and tribulation we’ve gone through in our lives, would we care so much about a ‘missing’ thigh gap, on fleek eyebrows or having a butt as bubbly as a Kardashian’s?

Or would we go in search of a time where we simply marched to the beat of our own drum? And seek out a tribe of those who have done the same?

For tips and advice for your own internal beauty overhaul, I welcome you to check out my video below:

Devika J. Singh is a Toronto-based Tantric sex and singles relationship coach. As The Techy Tantrika, she dishes out advice for navigating the tricky terrain of modern dating. Got a question for Devika? Email her.