Guest Blogger: Joan Price – Author of Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex

I am very pleased to have a guest Blogger today.  Joan Price, author of Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex discusses saying no in a respectful, gentle but clear way.  It is a skill we should always be working on and I appreciate Joan sharing her thoughts and experiences on the topic. I believe her advice applies not only to seniors but to all of us regardless of age.

Saying “No” with Class: Rejections I’ve Liked

By Joan Price

My dabbling in online dating continues to be interesting, often funny. I’m going into this to expand my social life and meet good men who might become friends, or provide an hour of interesting conversation, or stimulate me to pursue a deeper relationship — or just remind me why I enjoy my single life. I’m not earnestly seeking a soul mate or looking to get married.

This attitude gives me the advantage of being able to take this whole process lightly, and my day is not ruined by a rejection or by the paucity of applause-inducing matches. However, it’s frustrating when dating sites seem to ignore my criteria when announcing with great fanfare that they’ve found a match for me, and men contact me who seem not to have read what I say I’m seeking. No matter that I want someone within 50 miles; men from another state contact me. So what if I specify single only; men in open marriages (or so they claim!) would like a date when they’re in my area. And so on.

Sometimes I read a profile that leaves me saying, “Wow! I’d like to know this person!” and I send an e-note expressing why his profile interests me. Occasionally my interest is returned, but that’s rare (I’m not sure why). Usually I’m ignored.

I don’t like being ignored, especially after I’ve reached out to someone. It’s like introducing myself to someone at a party, and having him pretend he didn’t see me or hear me. We’re not all meant for each other, and just because I’m interested doesn’t mean he is – I get that. But don’t ignore me! Send me a polite “No, thank you,” preferably with a sentence of either truth or tact. Even just saying (as I do, when the tables are turned), “Thank you for writing. You sound like an interesting person, but I don’t think we’re a match. Best wishes for finding what you seek,” leaves me feeling fine.

To encourage you to do say “no” in a nice way, here are some of the actual turn-downs I’ve received and appreciated:

  •     Thanks for the note and kind comments. While I know that your city is not on the other side of the moon [comment from Joan: we live about 40 mi. apart], it is too far for me at this point of this odd online dating process. I have tried the long distance relationship a few times, and each time, it proved too much the struggle. So, thanks for reaching out, and I wish you the best.
  •    I am so honored that you would send me an email. You look and sound like a delightful woman, and I enjoyed reading your profile. However, as flattered as I am by your contact, it’s my strong hunch that we’re really not a match. So, let me send you my best wishes for meeting your match.
  •    Actually, I am looking for a soul-mate. Dating and friendship is fine, but I would like to “go all the way” as it were. …You seem like a smart and interesting person, and I could be making a mistake, but somehow I feel that we aren’t a good fit. Thanks for writing me.
  •    Thank you for the contact and the nice words. I am in a process of transition, learning to listen to myself and find out what I am looking for at this juncture in my life. You seem like a beautiful and interesting person. However at this point I don’t feel that we would be a good match for dating. I send my heartfelt wishes to you to find the person and love that you seek and deserve.

How do you say “no” nicely? It’s worth figuring out, so that you can leave people with a smile because of your classy response.

Ageless sexuality advocate Joan Price ( is the author of Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex and Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty and Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex. Visit her zesty, award-winning blog about sex and aging at

About awentherapy

I am Jay Blevins, LMFT ( I am a licensed systems therapist with a private practice in Madison, WI. While I work with individuals and partners around a wide variety of issues, my primary focus in on alternative relationship structures, alternative sex and sexuality, and power dynamics. I am a contributor to various relationship and sexuality blogs and publications and have been a frequent presenter at alternative lifestyle events and psychotherapy conferences.
This entry was posted in Awen Therapy, Joan Price, MFT, Rejection, Respect, Saying No, Senior Sex, Sex, Therapy, Vulnerability and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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