My Boyfriend’s Daughter Hates Me & I’m Afraid It Will End My Relationship

Dating someone with kids comes with a unique set of complications. Instead of there being two people in a relationship, there are three or more—and that’s not counting the kids’ mom. I pursued a relationship with my current boyfriend because we clicked so well, but he recently introduced me to his 12-year-old daughter and I’m pretty sure she hates me. What now?

  1. She locked herself in her room when I came over. My boyfriend spoke to his ex and his daughter before I came to visit. It was supposed to be a relaxed afternoon of pizza and games, but not even 15 minutes into my visit, my boyfriend’s daughter ran off and locked herself in her room. She didn’t come out again, not even when my boyfriend ordered her to. Ouch.
  2. My boyfriend told me not to worry, but I saw the hate in his daughter’s eyes. As soon as I walked into their home, she looked at me as if I was an unwelcome guest. I expected this to a certain extent, but the way she kept staring at me, frowning, then pursing her lips in anger told me all I needed to know. I genuinely believe his daughter hates me, and not just because I’m dating her dad—my boyfriend has brought an ex home in the past. I think it’s just me, which seriously hurts.
  3. I don’t know how to get her to like me. My boyfriend spent a good half hour trying to get her to leave her room. When that didn’t work, he called it a day. She’s a daddy’s girl so if he couldn’t get her to spend time with me, I don’t know what hope I have of getting her to like me. If I can’t speak to her, how can I change her mind?
  4. I don’t want to be the evil stepmom. When I first got with my boyfriend, I understood that our relationship would be different. I knew that he wouldn’t have as much time for me as a man without a child normally would. I was fine with all of it and I was open to the idea of being a stepmom, but I don’t know that I can stomach being the evil stepmom. I don’t want to be the source of pain in a young girl’s life.
  5. My boyfriend wants to force her to spend time with me. It may just be because I’m not a parent, but I find it hard to see what forcing a child to do something will accomplish. She made it clear that she doesn’t like me and that she doesn’t want to spend time with me. I fear that forcing her to do so will make a bad situation worse.
  6. I’m worried about what she’ll tell her mother. I know that my boyfriend co-parents. He had to ask his ex-wife for permission for me to even meet their daughter. I worry that if she tells her mother that I’m horrible, that will lead to a whole host of complications both for the co-parenting situation and my future relationship with her mom. I haven’t even met the woman and I worry that she’s already thinking the worst of me.
  7. I worry that my boyfriend doesn’t understand me. My boyfriend and I have talked about the situation with his daughter over and over again. Every time I bring it up, he brushes me off. The fact that he doesn’t take my concerns seriously is raising some red flags. Telling me I’m overreacting is the kind of thing a toxic guy says. I just hope that’s not who he really is. We haven’t been together long enough for me to truly know.
  8. I worry that his daughter will break us up. The stress from her reacting badly during my first visit is already introducing tension in a relatively new relationship. I worry that if she digs her heels in, then all of that tension between her, my boyfriend, his ex, and myself will lead to our budding relationship ending before it’s time. My boyfriend and I have something special but I don’t know if we can overcome this. After all, kids come first. How long until my boyfriend decides to take his daughter’s feelings toward me seriously and decides to leave me?
  9. I’m starting to question whether I should even date a guy with kids. I know that one meeting with the little girl that went wrong shouldn’t be enough to break up a healthy relationship, but I must admit that I feel like I bit off more than I can chew. If my boyfriend and I got married, then Haley and her mother would always be a part of our lives. That’s a lot of complication for someone who’s never even thought of having kids let alone living with one who hates her. They say that love can conquer all and I hope that’s true in my case.
Hannah is a twenty-something-year-old freelance writer, obsessed with reality TV, and all things sweet.