1. Tell the truth (about age, build, marital status)
2. Post a current photo without sunglasses
3. If someone messages you and you're not interested, give a courteous "no, thank you."
My usual advice is this: Make it clear, honest, and polite -- something like, "Thank you for writing, and I enjoyed reading your profile... [Insert something complimentary about the person's qualities/interests here.] However, I don't think we're a match. [No need to give reason, but you can if it's something specific and doesn't put the other person down.] Best wishes for finding what you seek.'"
Today I decided to expand the age range I was seeking to include age 50 to 73. (I'm 68, whatever that might mean to you.) Before, I had the lower limit at 55, but I don't mind if the man is younger than that, as long as he is smart, fit, and interesting; matches my energy; and is attracted to older women.
A delightful, 51-year-old man came up in my search. We had much in common, and I found his photo very attractive. I wrote him a complimentary message, and ended with this: "...I know you say your upper age limit is 55 -- is that firm? See my profile and current photos before you answer."
He turned me down, but the way he said no prompted me to write this blog post. It's the nicest rejection I've ever received, and it will become my new model of how to respond when not interested. He gave me permission to post it here, without identifying him in any way:
Thank you for writing, it's nice to be approached on occasion instead of doing all the outreach. (And I always respond, I can't stand it when I send an email and am not even afforded the courtesy of a "no".) I'm not absolutely firm on my age range, but honestly 68 is a bit beyond what I will consider. You sound like a live wire and a wonderful lady to get to know, and I wish you the best in finding someone who can match your spirit and energy.
See why I love this message? It's extremely complimentary -- he read my profile, he thinks I'm cool -- and he's honest about why he's saying no. Perfect. Thank you, not-to-be-identified man who inspired this post.
I welcome comments, especially if you have a nice way of saying, "No, thank you."