A man who offers to cook after he’s seen you trying to freeze a dead dog has to be at least a little bit keen.
— Rosen Trevithick: London, The Doggy, And Me

I was out for a small celebratory tipple the other evening with The Man Who Vaguely Resembles David Tennant, and the woman I would marry if a) I weren't already espoused, and b) were naturally inclined towards the feminine, which, judging by the fact that I have, in fact, married a bloke, it seems I am not. (Note: she makes very, very good cakes, so both The Man and myself have a vested interest in ensuring our relationship stays on a raspberry jam layered, double Victoria sponge and vanilla cream-centred footing. In other words, if I did want to marry her, he'd be okay with it, as long as the cakes kept on coming. Shallow, but understandable).

Yes. Well, where was I? Cake. I mean, celebrating.

It's irrelevant as to what we were celebrating; suffice to say, a moral victory was toasted, and then it was on to the good stuff - cake, and the maker of said carb-based treats' social life. Now, when it came to knowing what was going on here, The Man was about three steps behind events. I must stress that this was not due to his lack of intelligence, but rather due to a lack of intelligence gathering. I am totally, utterly useless at giving him any worthwhile goss, mainly due to a head stuffed full of too many words. This understandably annoys him no end, as he misses out on all the good shiznit. 

He was therefore quite surprised when The Fastest Cupcake in The West said "so, I went on a date on Saturday night.

Actually, make that an antidate. Because whatever it was, it was not a date."

The Man wanted to know why. Fair enough. I already knew. Because her reason was one that sat behind my own decision-making process when it came to saying 'thanks, but no thanks'.  It was a process that began in my late teens, carried on through my early to mid 20s, and if I am completely honest, stayed a part of me up until the point where Dr Who hove into view, said 'allons-y!' and swept me off my feet and into The Tardis, a.k.a. Life in Perf.

I think it will make sense to many, many, many women out there. Just nod your heads and feel vaguely embarrassed. 

She said:

"I really didn't want to go. Why? Because he is available, he made it incredibly obvious that he likes me, and he's a nice guy".

I can feel blokes everywhere going 'what the WHAT?' (not women, because they get this) - but hang on a second. Think about it, mateys. How many times have you actively sought out a girl - or for that matter, a guy - whom you could tell was extremely enthusiastic about the opportunity to see more of you? I'm not talking about a situation where there has been intense mutual attraction, and you pretty much can't wait for the opportunity to indulge in the preliminaries to what is likely to be a relationship of some kind, whether sexual, cerebral or a combo of the two.

If someone IS just that into you, and you're not reciprocating, it is an overwhelm, not a bowling over. 

An antidate is a fabulous way to put it. To go out with someone, whether they are male, female, or Hipster The Giraffe, when you aren't feeling the love (or lust)... it's like having nails scraped down your innermost layers of soul. You know you shouldn't be there, but in the end, it's easier, and seems marginally less rude than saying an outright 'no'. Besides, you may be wrong, right?

Wrong. To the power of wrong, with so much added wrong. 

And it's not, to quote that banshee of a Millennial band, The Cranberries, about a case of only wanting what you no longer have, or perhaps have never yet had. On the contrary - and forgive me, Cupcake, for not doing you the justice of making this point immediately. Just because you don't want someone for being so clearly available, into you, and seemingly sane and rational, doesn't mean you are looking to bust up a target Steve(ette) the Sociopath's marriage, forcing them to notice you and live unhappily ever after, or at least until they murder you with a garden implement. 

There's nothing wrong with holding out for Mr/Ms/Giraffe Right, rather than Not Even Right If I Spent My Life With Them Doing Other Things, In Other Places, Where They Are Not.

Admittedly, there have been times where a bloke has played it cool, and yes, that has been appealing. Fine, fine, it has been VERY appealing! But it's not the thing, the true thing, and all of the thing, to quote the late, phenomenally great Sir Terry Pratchett.

Hence, don't go looking for an antidate as an antidote to a certain lack of pizazz in your lovelife. There's a reason why it comes up as a misspelled word when you type it. 

It isn't any kind of cure for what ails you. It's something that is, instead, not healthy for either party, and which, like too much cake, will leave you feeling vaguely dissatisfied - and with the realisation that you now need to go on a diet until you are able to fit into the right outfit again.

Or partnership. Even if that partnership is with yourself.

Now that's a date.