5 Reasons Relationships Change Over Time

Have you noticed that your relationships, or other relationships around you, seem to change over time? Some change for the better and seem to always get better and better. While some change for the worse, dwindle down to nothing, and then fall apart.

People often ask “why do relationships change over time?“. This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many factors that can contribute to the changes that occur in a relationship.

Changes, whether good or bad, happen in relationships due to a few main reasons. In this article, we will explore five of the most common reasons why relationships change as time goes on.

Relationship Changes

You may notice your relationship changing a little bit at a time. Or you might wonder how you and your partner got to where you are today and have the changes hit you all of a sudden.

The changes can be subtle such as realizing that you don’t spend as much time laughing together. Or the changes can be big ones where you look back on the days you used to stay out until 2 A.M. and now you both can’t wait to get the kids to bed at 8 P.M.

Changes, both large and small, happen in every relationship. There’s no stopping it. However, you shouldn’t be discouraged. Changing means that you’re maturing and growing. As long as you’re continually working on your relationship and communicating with your partner, changes can be a great thing.

Why Relationships Change Over Time

why relationships change over time

1. People Change

The main reason relationships change over time is because people change. The longer we live, the more we learn and grow.  We have new experiences, we meet new people, and we learn new things. All of these factors contribute to who we become as individuals. And as we grow and change as individuals, our relationships are affected.

For example, you may have been in a relationship with someone who was always the life of the party and loved to go out clubbing every weekend. But then, as they got older and more mature, their priorities changed. Later, they would rather stay in with you or have to spend the weekend finishing a work project.

The changes people go through can have negative or positive impacts on your relationship. Maybe part of you misses who your partner used to be. On the other hand, you might appreciate the person they’ve become over time and love them more than ever.

2. There’s History

The longer you’re in a relationship, the more you go through together. Your relationship will go through ups and downs as time goes by. You’ll come to know what to expect from your partner as you spend more and more time together.

If you both have a good track record in the relationship, you may trust each other more now than ever. Or, if one of you has let the other down, there might be less trust than there used to be. 

The events that have occurred throughout your relationship will shape how you feel about each other over time. The good and bad things that you both do will contribute to the health and strength of your partnership.

3. More Factors Come Into Play

As your relationship progresses, there will be more factors involved. Maybe you move in with your partner and start handling rent and bills together. After more time passes, you might get married and have children together.

The more things that are added to your relationship, the more complicated it can get. You will depend on each other a lot more after spending years together. The addition of these things can be great, life-changing things that you’re happy about. They can also add stress to your relationship and cause a divide if they aren’t handled well.

4. Problems Develop

Every relationship has problems that develop over time. It’s inevitable. No matter how great you get along with your partner, there will be disagreements and things that you don’t see eye to eye on.

How you handle these problems will dictate how your relationship changes. If problems are handled poorly over and over, resentment and distance can build between you and your partner. If issues are solved healthily with compromise and respect, your relationship can get stronger and more stable over time. You’ll find that it’s not the problems that necessarily change your relationship, it’s how you deal with them.

5. Choices Are Made

Every choice you make can affect your life and relationships. The things that you choose in life will affect both you and your partner. If you choose to spend time building your relationship, you can have something solid. If you choose to prioritize work and other outside elements, your relationship can suffer.

The balance of choices you make over time will have a lasting effect on your relationship. Big decisions should be made together and with your relationship’s best interest at heart if you want these changes to be for the better.

You shouldn’t discount the small choices you make each day either. Simple things like choosing to do something nice for your partner each day can make a big impact over time. Likewise, if you make poor decisions over and over, your relationship can suffer or come to an end.

Changes In Relationships Over Time FAQ

Is it normal for a relationship to change over time?

It is normal for a relationship to change over time. People change and grow, other factors come into play, and you build a history that affects your relationship with your partner. Changes can be positive and negative depending on how things are handled between you and your partner.

Why do relationships change after 3 years?

Relationships change after three years because you’ve been with your partner for a long time. You know each other very well at this point and you’re comfortable around one another. Other factors like work, children, or moving in together can also affect your relationship after three years.

How do relationships change with age?

Relationships change with age because people’s needs and wants change as they get older. You might want different things in a relationship when you’re 25 than you do when you’re 35. Priorities shift and people grow apart if they don’t share the same values.

What causes a man to change in a relationship?

Many things can cause a man to change in a relationship. His own experiences, the history of the relationship, and new things such as having kids and getting married can change who he is. Men continue to grow and change throughout their lives and in relationships. These changes can be for better or worse depending on the man and what he is going through.


No matter what, over time you and your partner will change. It’s important to be aware of these changes and understand that they can have a positive or negative effect on your relationship.

If you’re able to navigate the changes successfully, your relationship can grow stronger. However, if problems are mishandled, resentment and distance can build up over time and eventually lead to the end of the relationship.

Be mindful of the choices you make each day and be sure to communicate with your partner to ensure that you’re both on the same page. With a little effort, you can overcome any changes in your relationship.

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