My Daughter Is Upset That I’m Dating Again

Dear Sara

I have been divorced for eighteen months now. I have started dating and my fourteen-year-old daughter is very upset. When I get dressed to go out she gets very angry and calls me a bad mother for leaving her alone. She knows that she can go to her grandparent’s house so I know that being alone is not the problem. She mixed all my makeup together while I was gone. She sees her Dad every other weekend and he babies her and buys her things so she thinks he’s wonderful and I’m terrible because I set limits and go out on dates. What can I do to get some peace around here?


Dear Laurel,

With a fourteen-year-old, peace is often hard to come by. When they are happy, they are a joy to be around. When they are unhappy they tend to try to make everyone else miserable. I would guess that your daughter is very unhappy about her divorce from her father. Since you are dating she may tend to blame you for the breakup even if this is not the case. She may also need more time to adjust to the new situation. Even if there were problems in your marriage she probably felt more secure with two parents in her home.

Eighteen months isn’t really a very long time for your daughter to adjust to her new situation. It would probably be best to keep your relationship out of her sight for a while. Try to arrange your dates on the weekends when she is with her father and don’t bring anyone home to meet her unless you are certain your relationship is serious. Give your daughter some more time to adjust. Eventually she will go off with her own friends and not need you so much.


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