7 Reasons Friends Change When They Get Into a Relationship

It can be frustrating and hurtful to watch your friend change every time they get into a new relationship. While change is inevitable, it’s hard to deal with. 

You might be wondering why your friend has changed since they quit dating and started their relationship. The truth is, there are many reasons. The change in your friend might have to do with one or more of the reasons we’ll talk about later on. 

Let’s first take a look at how people can change once in a relationship. Then we’ll take a look at the reasons behind these changes. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to understand what’s going on more clearly. 

How People Change When They Get Into a Relationship

Springer Science published several studies that looked into how romantic relationships affected personal growth and engagement with other social relationships. Their findings support the fact that relationships greatly affect our lives. 

Here are some key points from their paper that explain the areas of a person’s life that a relationship affects. In summary, they basically affect everything!

“Getting involved in a romantic relationship is also likely to bring about structural changes in one’s life, as it often requires a reorganization of one’s time and activities. Romantic relationships may thus affect the structure and organization of the various spheres of a person’s life. 

For example, people’s involvement in activities outside the relationship may diminish as they grow closer to their romantic partner. Similarly, some individuals find it hard to manage time for friends and family because their romantic relationship is taking up all space in their life.”

“While some individuals neglect their family when they find a romantic partner (Slater 1963), other couples increase their involvement with their families as they grow closer (Johnson and Leslie 1982). 

Some evidence also suggests that romantic relationships can even strengthen ties with friends (Connolly and Goldberg 1999). “

In short, people change the way they structure their lives once they start building a romantic relationship. This affects how they spend their time, what activities they involve themselves in, and what their other relationships are like. 

Why Do Friends Change When They Get Into a Relationship?

1. They Have Someone New in Their Life

Any time you add something new into your life, it can make a big impact. Whether it’s a friend, a romantic partner, or even a pet, you’ll have to change some things to accommodate them. 

A significant other takes up a lot of space in your life. That type of relationship requires a lot of time, effort, and thought in order to be successful. This isn’t like a distant friendship where you can text every few months and catch up. 

Understanding that your friend is shifting their life around someone new is key in understanding why they are changing. 

2. Their Priorities Change

When your friend starts a new relationship, their priorities may change. Instead of focusing on themselves, they are now focusing on their significant other and building their relationship. 

What was once a priority in their life, may not even be a thought anymore. New priorities push their way to the front and determine how your friend lives their life. 

3. They Change for Their New Partner

Although we don’t want to lose ourselves in relationships, changing for a partner isn’t always a bad thing. Your friend might be changing things in their life to fit their relationship, working on things about themselves, and learning new things. 

Good relationships help us learn and grow. So of course they will change us! 

4. They Spend Their Time Differently

Going back to the study published by Springer Science that we referenced above, relationships change the structure of your life. Specifically the structure of your time and activities. 

Your friend is now structuring their life around their relationship as well as other things like their friends, family, career, or school. This big shift in structure can definitely change things about your friend. 

They will start spending more time with their partner, and potentially on new hobbies that their partner has, as well as spending time with the partner’s friends and family members. This addition of different outside influences can contribute to your friend’s changes. 

5. They Are Building a Future With Someone

Your friend likely has some different goals now that they are in a relationship. Depending on how serious they are, they might be planning for the future with their significant other. 

The shift in their goals will change what your friend does each day to get closer to those goals. For example, if your friend is saving up for a house or wedding with their partner, they might have to cut back on going out with you so much or those weekend shopping sprees you used to go on. 

6. Things They Used to Do Aren’t Appropriate Anymore

You might be wondering why your friend has stopped doing some of the things they used to enjoy. This may even cause you to be concerned for them. Although they shouldn’t stop doing things they like just because they’re in a relationship, some things just aren’t appropriate anymore. 

For example, your friend might stop spending so much time at the clubs or areas where there are a lot of chances to meet other singles. It just wouldn’t be great for their relationship if they were going out until 2 A.M. every weekend. 

So, some things they are changing may be concerning or boring for you as their friend. However, they do need to change some things if they are taking this relationship seriously and trying to build it into something lasting. 

7. They are Growing

Being in healthy relationships is part of personal growth. These relationships teach us things about ourselves. They make us reflect on our weaknesses and highlight our strengths. Relationships themselves often change over time as well and contribute to continual growth. 

Since your friend is in a growth stage of life, this can bring a lot of changes into their life. Hopefully all for the better. However, it might not seem like that to all of their friends. 

reasons friends change when they get into a relationship infographic

Friends Changing When in a Relationship FAQ

Here are some questions I see a lot regarding friendships when one of the friends gets into a relationship. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me and I can add them in!

Do friendships change when you get into a relationship?

Friendships almost always change at least a little bit when one of the friends gets into a relationship. They are adding a lot into their life by adding a romantic partner and this has a domino effect on the rest of their life. The changes this brings can be positive or negative to a friendship. 

Do relationships ruin friendships?

Relationships can definitely ruin some friendships. However, this isn’t always the case. Many people are able to maintain strong friendships while growing their romantic relationship. It takes communication, prioritization, and care from both friends to keep the friendship going. 


You will probably notice some changes in your friends when they get into relationships. These changes can be good or bad and may end up affecting your friendship. 

As you can see, there are many reasons why your friend is changing because of their relationship. Hopefully it’s all for the better and your friendship becomes even better over time. 

However, sometimes this isn’t the case when there isn’t balance between the relationship and friendships. If you notice any red flags or notice that your friendship is dwindling, talk to your friend about it in a caring way. 

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