Walter White is one of the most fascinating television characters of all time. He defines an era of intriguing anti-heroes that not only leave us questioning his moral character, but our very own moral center as well.
As the years went on, the once likable Walter White slowly found himself crossing into territory that neither he, nor most viewers, ever thought possible, eventually blurring the line between Walter White and his meth kingpin alter ego known Heisenberg.
As sad as it was to see this show end, the release of "Breaking Bad's" final season on DVD got me thinking about this fascinating character all over again, only this time, in a completely different context. It dawned on me that the path many online daters take is not much different from Walter White's transition into sociopathic drug lord.
OK, so maybe you won't be telling your dates to "say your name" in the middle of a desert under the threat of an ambush. But you may just have more in common with man who knocks than you think. In this article, I will be discussing seven signs that your online dating life is in danger of "Breaking Bad."
Step 1: You are in denial.
The first step that you are truly crossing into Heisenberg territory is denial. This is the phase of your online dating life where you start justifying the unnecessary actions you are taking.
Perhaps you are agreeing to a date with a man 15 years older than you because he "has so much in common with you." Or maybe you are going on four dates a week because you "really wanted to find the one faster." And, of course, you have been meeting people for over three years because you have yet to find a match, not because you are addicted to online dating, right?
Denial is a powerful force. Once you cross this dangerous line, your online dating life has officially begun to break bad, so "perhaps it's best to tread lightly."
Step 2: You justify that its all for "family."
I know, I know. You are doing it all for family. The random hookups. The serial dating. The endless free dinners. It's all because you are looking for the right person to settle down and have a family with. If you just so happen to have a few dozen expensive evenings out with random strangers, or break a few hearts along the way, so be it. Its all for the family! Don't kid yourself. Walter White justified the creation of a drug empire in the name of his family and all it left him in the end was an estranged wife and a son who no longer loved his once idolized father.
Step 3: You start lying to your friends and family about your dating life.
You are always busy with online dating and begin to lie about it. First dates take priority over birthdays and celebrations. You cancel Saturday night plans because your latest "match" suddenly freed up at the last second. Instead of admitting to your friends that you are on your fifth date in two weeks, you pretend you have important family functions of you're own, or have business that you need to attend to. Eventually, the lies about your dating life pile up so high that you can't even keep track anymore of what fibs you have told.
It's not your fault though. You are busy running a dating empire and your friends and family just won't understand. When you finally have your perfect family and a happy life, it will be over and there will be time for everyone. Right?
Step 4: You keep promising yourself nobody else will get hurt.
As the angry text messages, emails and phone calls from men you have dated begin to roll in, you realize that your actions are starting to have an impact on others. Feelings are at stake and those you have dated are actually getting hurt emotionally. The perfect life cannot be built without some collateral damage along the way though, and you continue to justify that its for the sake of the greater good. You promise the Jesse within you that nobody else has to get hurt, but know deep down inside it's inevitable. More innocent singles will suffer.
Step 5: You start to lose sight of who you were to begin with.
It's three years later. You have been on 185 dates. You've flirted with over 400 men via text message, traveled across six states and somehow learned how to cook the most delicious seared New Zealand Elk Tenderloin along the way, although you can't remember how, when, or who taught you how to cook such a ridiculous dish.
Why did you even begin online dating to begin with? Oh that's, right. You, ummm, wanted a family. Let's face it. Your former persona and online dating persona have officially merged. You have officially been Heisenberg'd.
Step 6: You have become the one that knocks.
Now that you have come to terms with who and what you are, you are the one calling all the shots. You arrange where to meet. You determine the terms of the first date. You decide when there will and will not be a second date. You work your manipulative magic into making your dates like you and pay for everything. Congratulations. Your empire is complete. You are officially the one who knocks.
7. You end your journey a damaged person, but feeling truly alive for the first time.
When all is said and done, eventually, the dating empire you have built will come crashing down. The years of destruction, exhaustion and lies have taken all taken their toll and begin to come crumbling down around you. Spoiler Alert: Like Walter White in his final moments, you are left feeling physically destroyed, wondering how life spiraled out of control so fast. Yet, in your final moments, as you sit paralyzed and broken at your computer screen before logging off for the final time, a small hint of a smile gleams across your face, and you realize, for all the good and the bad, this was the one period in your life that you truly felt alive.
Joshua Pompey provides dating advice to men and women around the world. Click here to visit his world famous profile writing service, where you can have your male or female profile completed within three days.