BooHoo. Sad Little Economist Can’t Get a Date.

Spotlight on a whiny celebrated economist who couldn’t get dates on

Paul Oyer wrote a long piece about his online dating experience and the term, “statistical discrimination.” Oyer, recently separated – SEPARATED – put up a profile on and was subsequently shunned by the majority of women online. He accuses them of practicing “statistical discrimination” versus “taste-based discrimination” (aka “prejudice”) and identifies himself as being a victim and a target of it.

Statistical Discrimination (Oyer’s words): The economics term for what most people would simply refer to as women acting on a stereotype based on my separated status.

He goes on to say: “What makes this a classic case of statistical discrimination (rather than taste-based discrimination) is that women do not hold ill will towards separated men. After all, these same women will date divorced men, all of whom were separated at some point.”

At the end of the article, Oyer wraps up his experience on with this insightful statement:

“And it’s been a useful reminder that, while overt discrimination is not nearly as bad as it used to be here in the United States, the detrimental effects of stereotyping are pervasive and substantial.”

First of all, women DO hold ill will towards the category of separated men who don’t bother with the messy details of a divorce, but rather decide to further cheat on their wives by dating other women. So, by way of definition, they are also practicing “taste-based discrimination.”

Second: Divorced men are NOT considered separated, no matter how Oyer attempts to contort the meaning. They will never be considered, by most women and in legal terms, as falling into the category of Separated.

Third: Whether calling it statistical discrimination or taste-based discrimination, to write an article comparing his unsuccessful and trivial attempt at online dating and serious examples of true statistical discrimination, is disrespectful to individuals who have suffered the real and disabling consequences of being discriminated against.

Fourth: The detrimental effects of stereotyping, in the case of the author’s inability to hook up, were not pervasive or substantial. The world will continue to rotate and revolve quite nicely without Oyer scoring on

Oyer doesn’t appear to appreciate that most older women possess enough background knowledge, intelligence, self-preservation and experience to statistically discriminate against men who’ll be less-than satisfactory future mates. In his article, he calls this unjust. I see it as being aware and sensible.

As an aside, in my experience, too many older men are incapable of recognizing that there’s this lingering crud, called the ex or current estranged wife, stuck to their souls. In an online profile, it’s almost impossible to know that SHE is in the picture though, because, sadly, the separated man seeking dates is in denial. He has convinced himself that SHE is no more a part of his life than some stranger in a foreign country. It’s a remarkable gift, this ability to partition off something as significant as a still thriving connection to his ex or estranged—a connection very similar to the invasive plant called Kudzu, a climbing vine whose preferred habitat includes disturbed areas such as roadsides, forest edges, and the guy you’re interested in.

Why these men don’t exhibit enough self-awareness to realize they haven’t moved on and shouldn’t be starting up any relationships, even one with a goldfish, is beyond me. But they get online, post a profile and start contacting women. If this separated guy posting a profile on an online dating service possesses something resembling a spine, even a wire hanger version of one, he might admit that he’s in a troubled relationship. He won’t develop a profile that paints a picture of himself as an eligible, available, intelligent and financially well-off prospect.

Oyer seems to be one of these men, although at the end of his article, it appears that he resolved his problem and has moved into the category of “divorced.’

Lament it all you will, whine about it, write an article that gets posted on PBS Newshour—but know this: single women will discriminate. Whether it’s statistical or based on their opinions and feelings about certain classes of men, women will act in their best interests. No amount of whining by men like Oyer will soften us up.

Next time, if Oyer wants us to hear his words about statistical discrimination and take away some lessons from it, it would be best to avoid a nonsensical comparison of his trivial experience to those of real and pervasive discrimination.

Let's throw him a pity party!
Let’s throw him a pity party!

58 thoughts on “BooHoo. Sad Little Economist Can’t Get a Date.

  1. Not really familiar with Oyer but based on what I have read here it seems his lack of humility and preponderance of self may come across as something that too many women have already had to endure with a lot of men in their lives already. If I were to stereo-type Oyer I would place him in the angry white man group who think they are a dying breed.

  2. boy white men are really getting a case of the ass about everything these days…seems like they are feeling awfully left out of things…I feel so sorry…not..

  3. I never heard of Oyer until now, but having read your post and looking over the article, he sounds like an insufferable know-it-all. I don’t equate separated with divorced. But considering how people lie like rugs on online dating sites, why mention this ugly factoid at all? Reel in some unsuspecting fish and once he has them hooked, then reveal that there’s still that nagging issue of a wife, who’s yet to be an official ex, in the picture. I think he had an agenda all along since he turned this episode into a book. But if “separated” was a category, he doesn’t mention if he pursued any women with that classification. My guess is he wanted less used goods since he considers himself such a great catch who deserves better. What a creep.

    1. I met so many creeps like him when I did the online dating thing. Yes, I imagine people could call me bitter, but that doesn’t negate my feelings that this really is an egregious practice whether men or women engage in it. The dishonesty in online dating is so rampant. Why start off a relationship that way?

      1. Online dating is rife with dishonesty because it’s so easy. Surely you know that New Yorker cartoon showing the two dogs with one sitting at the computer telling the other, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” I’m not saying this is right, but this is how it is.

  4. Just a guy trying to come up with an excuse for not being attractive to women. Call it what you want – if I was single he would be the last person I would want to date for a whole host of reasons.

  5. “Why these men don’t exhibit enough self-awareness to realize they haven’t moved on and shouldn’t be starting up any relationships, even one with a goldfish, is beyond me.”

    Of course they realize it. They just don’t care. Especially when they haven’t yet divorced the old wife, they are checking to make sure they can pull in the next one so they’ll have someone to care for them in their next phase of life. It’s pure self-interest.

    But mostly I wanted to applaud the clarity, wit and downright accuracy of your analysis.

    1. Thank you for the compliment – and thank you for being here! I still wonder, after my bout with online dating, if some men ever get it – that the mere fact of their being men doesn’t entitle them to hoards of women breaking down their doors. It’s a sad state of mind to occupy.

  6. Poor guy; must be facing a ‘slow-down’ in his love-life. It’s not easy when one’s libido goes into a recession. Getting layed, is off the table. Maybe if he’d whiten his teeth and get rid of the shit-eating grin, things would begin to turn around for him.

  7. Mostly it’s funny that he didn’t get a date because there was something wrong with the women.

    Guess we can add “gender discrimination” to his profile…
    (Though if he’d written the whole analysis as a joke, I’d probably have laughed along with him.)

    1. I’m not sure this guy has a sense of humor at all, otherwise, he’d have noticed the silly comparison he made and might have given the article a more palatable slant. Anyway, yes, apparently there is something wrong with women who’d discriminate against married men who want to dally.

    1. Thank you dear – it took me an hour to glean any sense out of his article. It badly needed a rewrite. I suppose people think they’re more relatable when they begin with a personal anecdote – but that takes caution.

  8. “After all, these same women will date divorced men, all of whom were separated at some point.” – By that same logic, women should date 12-year-old boys, right? Because all men were 12-year-old boys at some point.

  9. According to Oyer’s logic, women who refused to date engaged men would be employing the same kind of statistical discrimination. Those guys aren’t married either, in any legal sense. And just because some of them are about to take a vow of fidelity — and keep it — that doesn’t mean they all are. It isn’t fair.

  10. What a maroon. The fact he looks like a hairless rat is only incidental to the fact that ‘separated’ means both still married and on the rebound. No woman on a dating site wants either of those things. Or a hairless rat.

  11. The separated who can’t bring themselves to divorce or simply won’t divorce until something better comes along reminds me of the agnostic. Agnostics are people who can’t make up their mind. Maybe there is a god and maybe there isn’t. But I am not taking any chances.

  12. Sounds like the guy is an idiot and an ass! A separated idiot-ass! Who in their right mind would argue that divorced men and separated men should be treated the same, since divorced men were once separated? Take that one step further–then they should also be treated like married men, as divorced men were once married, as well. Good GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  13. Your kudzu reference is genius. And your take on the whole sordid mess feels exactly on target. It does occur to me that “discriminating people” sometimes are just folks with good judgment, or good taste. I’d say our friend is a little short on both counts, and the women he’s moaning about have sharp enough judgment and good enough taste to give him a wide berth.
    Oh – he’s a little short on self-awareness, too. ;)

  14. “statistical discrimination?” It seems Mr. Oyer is not aware that part of the definition of “separated” has to do with still being MARRIED. Jeez Louise.

  15. I’ll give him this: Hootzpa…or however you spell it. It takes a lot of nerve to complain about being overlooked because you’re still married. Ah…the devil is in the details. I know a guy who thought it was okay to be on Match even tho he was “separated” BUT still living in the spare bedroom of his wife’s house because he couldn’t afford to move out yet. Do these guys never consider finishing one book before starting the next? Do they not realize that only a fool would invest in a guy that can’t get off the pot and stay off the pot long enough to figure out who the hell he is?

    Ach. I know there are women who are probably just as insecure and demented,but I tell ya, the whole male scene makes my skin crawl.

    1. I knew a guy like that, too. He was camping out in the house of my ex-boyfriend, the BIG LOSER, and surfing Match as though it were a grocery store filled with women who’d find him to be such a catch. Ugh. It was so nauseating. The only things you can hope for is that they strike out, their wives refuse to take them back, or they end up with someone just as clueless.

    1. Nope, probably not. A good-looking jerk is still a jerk. It might take a perceptive woman a couple more minutes to catch on but as soon as he opens his mouth – that oughta do it.

  16. In his article, he calls this unjust. I see it as being aware and sensible.
    A hearty “hear, hear” to this! I’m often uncomfortable with arguments clearly deriving from one person’s desire/willingness to see only the perspective that benefits them. Usually I encounter this in the form of political opinions, but it’s good to be reminded it can do with personal experiences as well: If Bob doesn’t get a lot of dates, it’s because he’s sleezy. But if I don’t? It’s a sign of discrimination, naturally! Yes, it is: somewhat discriminating tastes.

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