Ninja Dating Tactics

Hello there.

When I was at university, I had a lot of male friends. In fact, it's safe to say, I probably developed into a girl's girl a little later than the average bear. The female friends I did have were, and still are, gorgeous confident alpha females who, surprise surprise, mainly got on with boys too. As wonderful as it was to be surrounded by straight talking friends with no drama, there was one occasional, and unanticipated, downside.

Every now and again, there would be someone you always hung out with; a true friend who could make you laugh, cry, and was always so straight with you. Until one day you realise, he's been secretly trying to date you this entire time.
Ladies (and relevant gentlemen), has this ever happened to you? One of the few boys who tried this with me was a uni friend, let's call him "Cameron", that I used to hang out with almost every night. One day, he asked me to meet him at the movies and I was like, *high five* *sniff* "Sure dickhead, see you there".
So, when aforementioned movie day rolled around I, obviously, threw on whatever shit was on my bedroom floor available to me at the time and arrived looking like platonic garbage, ready to find my friend. As I'm stepping off the shitty, stinky student bus, Cameron is already there waiting for me


He has a charming, yet uncharacteristic smile on his face and greets me warmly. We enter the cinema and off we go to watch the film. We would normally be making fun of each other by now but, this boy is on his best behaviour and ever so polite. I find all this very confusing. It wasn't until we were inside that I fully understood what was going on.

First, he tried to buy me a big bag of pick n mix and caveated it with an incredibly loud and affectionate, "Now, you can get anything you want, it's on me", in front of everyone in the shop. I said thank you, but insisted on paying for myself. Then, we got to the podium where that little gentleman takes your ticket, it turns out they know one another. In fact, Cameron seems to know quite a few people that work in this here cinema, including those on the pick and mix stall.

The little man asks Cameron how he is and they briefly exchange pleasantries. The podium troll asks why we're seeing such a 'girly film' (don't even get me started) and Cameron replies, gesturing over to me, "Well, you know, She likes it" then rolls his eyes playfully. The ticket goblin looks surprised and says, "Oh! So, you two........?" gesturing back and forth between us as though ends of sentences haven't been invented yet.

Before I can say anything, my good friend Cameron jumps in, attempts to put his arm around me, and smugly says, "Yeah. Something like that".
Now, hang on a minute there buck-o. What the darn patootie is going on here???
I stare at Cameron incredulously and smack him firmly on the shoulder. He doesn't even flinch. He is past the point of no return, people. He has committed to this lie and he is in it to the death.

Like a kamikaze pilot.
Of love.

The tiny, tiny Lilliputian man at the now, invisible, podium nods his head slowly and smiles as if to say, "You go, Cameron. Look at you on your date in front of all these people with that human female who clearly knew what she was walking into".
Cameron nods back as if to say, "I know, right? SHE DEFINITELY WANTS TO HAVE SEX WITH ME, I PROMISE".

Cue, me having a very frank but gentle word with Cameron, explaining that this is, absolutely, not a date and I think it's time I gave him some space. Cameron has no idea what I'm talking about but agrees to taking some time apart.

That night he changes his Facebook profile picture to a selfie of him and I sitting on a beanbag.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand Scene.

Dearest Internet, I ask you, has this type of thing ever worked for anyone?
And at what point does this kind of subliminal approach seem like a logistically viable option? It happens a lot more often than you'd think too. In fact, we all know someone who has fallen prey to a bit of ninja dating. And if you haven't.... it's you. YOU'RE THE OFFENDING NINJA. And, on behalf of unsuspecting friends everywhere, I order you to cease and desist immediately.

I'm convinced this is an exclusively British phenomenon, in no other country would you get such a polite, passive aggressive nudge into a relationship. As though your friend is ushering you through a series of bonding scenarios at weekends, all the while gently whispering, "Yes.. you do want to date me. I'm rather handsome really aren't I? The moon landing wasn't real. Kill the prime minister of Malaysia Derek..."

The fact remains though that, no matter how hard you may try, you cannot, conscionably, coerce another person into dating you. Although, admittedly, the mental gymnastics involved are nothing short of astounding. Watching my dear friend attempt to, single handedly, transform the nature of our entire relationship, by sheer will power alone, was one of the most unusual things I've ever experienced (and I've eaten lambs' brains). It's like he woke up one morning and just decided this was happening. As though, if he was subtle yet consistent enough, I would eventually cave in and, the next thing you know, we'd be wearing matching sweaters and frolicking through meadows to "Theme From A Summer Place".

The ninja dating tactic is definitely one of the stranger dating phenomena, particularly when you are both such a terrible fit for one another in the first place. To be completely honest, I don't even think it was about me specifically, I think people hit a wall sometimes and just get sick of being alone. So, one day, they take a look and their nearest single friend and think:

Hold on a minute. 
Let's fall in love.
Or date.

...........fancy a shag???
Oh, go on, you only live across the road.

Oh, Cameron, bless you and all who sail in you. Thankfully, our friendship recovered from this little blip (another benefit of male friends, we just did a U-turn and moved on as soon as possible) and I am happy to report that he is now deliriously happy, frolicking through meadows with his very own dream woman, as it should be.

All being said and done though, you've got to admire that kind of blind, wilful, indiscriminate moxy.

Just me then.
I love a bit of moxy in the morning.

My Life As An Imposter

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  1. YES!! This has happened to me many a time!

  2. Interesting story... Well like you I have always had a lot of male friends. Once, one did randomly try to kiss me - I hadn't seen any warning signs, but I just avoided it and we carried on as if nothing had happened! One hinted I sort of broke his heart :s (without realising at all... we'd had a snog or two after nights out but I'd assumed the lack of chemistry was mutual). Others made little gestures or comments but either it was nothing or they got the hint. Now I'm in the peculiar situation of being on the lookout for 'warning signs' and at the same time, assuming that people I don't fancy don't fancy me, because otherwise I'd feel weird all the time with them. And then there's the blokes who I become friends with and as soon as they gather I'm not single or not interested in sex/a relationship, they disappear. I'd quite like more female friends, to avoid this awkwardness...
    But then there's also the times I've been that person who fancies a friend and what do you do then? Well, I definitely wouldn't pretend to be dating them at a cinema, that's for sure!


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