Didn't Know They Were Dating

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: Didn't Know They Were Married, Didn't Know They Were in a Relationship
Related: Office Betting Pool
See Also: Friends to Lovers, Get Together, Broccoli Test
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Didn't know they were dating is a trope that shows up in ship-focused fanfiction.

Often both parties are oblivious to the fact that everyone around them thinks they've been dating for some time. In other fics it may be that just one party is oblivious and the other party thinks they have been dating (just not putting out yet).

In angstier versions of the trope, one party may be pining for the other, especially if they're having what one party (or both) thinks or pretends is casual, emotionally detached sex while the other party (or both) is secretly in love.

Example Fanworks

Stargate Atlantis

  • Oblivious by astolat. (McShep) Rodney thinks they're dating, John insists they're not. For a while. (2005)
  • If I Knew You Were Coming by Kass. (McShep) "Excuse me? I think I would know if we were dating." McKay sounded huffy. "I've been given to understand there are perks involved." (2007)
  • Marginally Obtuse by pocky-slash. (McShep) "John discovers that it's possible to be a bad boyfriend even when you don't know it." (2007)
  • Go Out Swinging by giddygeek. (McShep) In which Rodney is oblivious about his feelings for John while they're having regular sex (and he's still trying to date Jennifer). (2008)

Supernatural RPF


  • Coffeeshop Muffins by skellerbvvt. Modern AU in which Merlin and Arthur are mostly unware that they're a couple while knowing that people misconstruct their relationship and they really don't care. Complete with both a Bromance ending and a Romantic one. Curiously enough, it's not a coffeeshop fic. (2010)


  • Continental Drift by rangerdanger. Summary: "Mike and Harvey are in a relationship. They just don't know it yet." (2011)
  • Imprimatur by Closer. "Mike was raised to believe Imprint was a life-changing event for those few lucky enough to experience it. Harvey was raised to believe it was a form of mental illness. When it actually happened, neither of them noticed." (2011)

Teen Wolf

  • Addicted to Loving You by teaboytoaliens. All-Human AU in which Stiles and Scott open a coffee shop and find out they're in love. (2012)

The Avengers Movieverse

One Direction

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Boy Meets World

  • Becoming Cory and Shawn by oncethrown. The story outlines the friendship of Cory and Shawn, to their respective breakups with Topanga and Angela, with the 8th chapter having them realize they've fallen into a romantic relationship of their own. (2008)

Voltron: Legendary Defender

Sailor Moon

  • Just Like That. Minako and Makoto realize they're dating while sharing an ice cream cone. (2019)

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

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