Former Matchmaker Shares 4 Things She Wished She Knew About Men At 23 Instead Of 53

She wants women to learn from her mistakes.

Happy middle aged couple Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Having a successful relationship requires balance. There’s a certain level of give and take in any partnership, yet one defining aspect of a relationship that works for both people involved is a sense of equity.

Sometimes, one person carries the other through tough times, knowing that their support will be reciprocated. But when one partner consistently does more heavy emotional lifting, it creates an imbalance of care that often leads to dissatisfaction.


A former matchmaker shared 4 things she wished she knew about men when she was 23:

1. You are not his job-seeker

In a recent TikTok, author and former matchmaker Tamsen Fadal gave dating advice to her younger self, revealing what she’s learned about men and relationships at age 53 that she would have liked to know at 23.

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She started her list of hard-earned lessons by declaring that women aren’t responsible for helping their partners find work.

“You are not his job seeker,” she said. “You’re not supposed to write his resume for him.”

Gender inequality at work is still a very pertinent issue. Women are subject to a number of professional roadblocks that men don’t experience, including the pay gap and the motherhood penalty — when a woman’s pay decreases upon becoming a parent.

“For every child a woman has, her income decreases by about 4 percent,” Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez explained. “By contrast, men’s incomes go up about 6 percent when they become fathers.”

@stefanieorodriguez For every child a woman has her income decreases by ~4% while men’s incomes go up by ~6% when they become fathers (controlling for experience, education, marital status and hours worked). These findings are another example of a gendered double standard commonly referred to as the ‘motherhood penalty’ and the ‘fatherhood bonus’ or ‘premium.’ While mothers are perceived to be less committed to their jobs, less dependable, less authoritative and more emotional when they become mothers (despite evidence to the contrary), fathers are perceived to be more committed to their work than childless men, offered higher starting salaries, held to lower expectations and cut more slack. You can dig into this research and more at 👇🏼 “Motherhood penalties and fatherhood premiums: effects of parenthood on earnings growth withiin and across firms” “The Fatherhood Bonus and The Motherhood Penalty: Parenthood and the Gender Gap in Pay” “Mothers face penalties in hiring, starting salaries, and perceived competence while fathers can benefit from being a parent” #fairplay #motherhoodpenalty #childfreetiktok ♬ original sound - Stefanie OConnell Rodriguez

“Researchers find that mothers are held to a higher standard, are less likely to be hired, are less likely to be promoted, and are less likely to be recommended higher starting salaries,” she said. “By contrast, fathers are perceived as more committed to their work than childless men and are offered higher starting salaries.”

While not all women are mothers, the studies Rodriguez referenced highlight the deeply ingrained prejudices women face in the workplace.

According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 67.9% of men ages 25 and older were employed in 2022, while only 55.4% of women were.


By telling young women not to expend their energy helping their boyfriends find work, Fadal is essentially advising women to guard themselves against being taken advantage of and to put themselves first by prioritizing their professional needs over their partner’s.

2. You don’t have to organize his life

Fadal continued her guidance by saying that women shouldn’t be doing unpaid labor for their male partners, explaining that it’s not their responsibility to make sure their boyfriends are productive.

“You’re not supposed to make a to-do list in the morning, so he gets out of bed and does something,” Fadal explained.

Supporting your partner is one thing, but it’s something entirely different when you become the point person on how a grown adult spends their day.


Atheana Ritchie offered her reasons not to date a man with no or low ambition, explaining that when you’re with a man who lacks motivation, “You are essentially becoming an emotional AAA for that man.”

@itsatheana Save yourself the emotional hard labor and avoid these men (little boys) or don’t and learn your lesson. #datingamanwithnoambition #noambition #nogoals #emotionallabor #toxicrelationshipsigns #leavingtoxicrelationship ♬ original sound - Atheana - comedy for women

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“No matter how much you love a person or how much you want them to be a better person, they have to want it for themselves,” she said.


Ritchie advised other women to “Save yourself the hard emotional labor” and avoid dating men who can’t do things for themselves.

3. You’re not his therapist

Another element of emotional labor that Fadal said women should steer clear of is taking on the role of a therapist for their partner.

Processing emotions and having open conversations is a majorly important part of a successful romantic relationship.

Couple having a serious conversation SeventyFour / Shutterstock


A sign of an imbalanced relationship shows up when one person uses the other to vent all their emotions, without making changes to their behavior or reciprocating the act of listening.

Holding space for your partner is essential, but being your partner's sole point of processing isn’t healthy and will lead to resentment down the road. 

4. You’re not his mom.

Fadal’s final point reminded young women of their role in relation to their boyfriends: They’re a partner, not a parent.


Men are socialized to be taken care of, while women are socialized to be caretakers.

This dynamic can lead to a very imbalanced partnership unless both parties are aware of it and work hard not to fall into a pattern where the woman is doing labor to hold the relationship together while the man coasts by, with all his needs met.

Some lessons are learned by living through relationships that don’t serve us, as Fadal’s guidance shows. By sharing her knowledge, Fadal is working to help women have healing relationships from the get-go. 


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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture and all things to do with the entertainment industry.