The Trick to Ending up in a Serious Relationship ...

Serious relationships can be hard to find. If you've never been in one before, then there are a few things you should know, because they differ from the way that flings and casual hookups work. If you're finally ready for something "real," here's the trick to ending up in a serious relationship:

1. Find Someone else Who Wants a Serious Relationship

It doesn't matter how badly you want a serious relationship, because if you only date guys who are terrified of commitment, things are always going to remain casual. That's why you need to search for a partner who is on the same page as you. If you're ready to commit, then you need a man who's also ready to commit. Otherwise, you're going to try to rush into things while your partner begs you to take it slow.

2. Make Room in Your Schedule for Him

If you want things with your man to get serious, then you need to set aside enough time to spend with him. If you work the majority of the week and then turn down his invitations to hang out on weekends, you'll have a hard time getting to know each other. The more time you spend together, the stronger your bond will be. Even though your job and other friendships are important, you can't be in a serious relationship if you always push your man to the sidelines.

3. Look for the Right Type of Guy

If you're searching for something serious, then you have to keep your eyes open for "husband material." While a motorcycle riding, leather wearing badass without a job seems appealing, you shouldn't date him if you know he's a player. You need to find someone whom you can trust, someone whom you can imagine spending years dating.

4. Act More Maturely

If you want to be in a serious relationship, then you should cut down on your bar-hopping and partying. Once you're in a serious relationship, your partner probably won't like the idea of you dancing with strangers at clubs, anyway. You should also try to find a good job, because once you and a man move in together, you're going to have to pay rent.

5. Don't Have High (or Low) Expectations

Expectations are relationship killers. If your expectations for a man are too low, then you could end up with someone who will hurt you or cheat on you. However, if your expectations are too high, then you might never find someone you deem worthy of dating. You need to strike a realistic balance, so that you end up with someone you deserve.

6. Make Sure Your Future Plans Match

When you're young, it doesn't matter if your partner has different religious or political beliefs. However, when you start looking for a serious relationship, those things will matter more. If he's a hardcore Catholic who wants to raise his kids that way, but you're an atheist who doesn't want to force religion onto children, you could have a problem. If he wants to live in Florida, but you hate hot weather, that could be another problem. Before things get too serious, you should have a chat to see if your plans match up well enough for you two to stay together.

7. Put in More Effort

If you really love someone, you'll fight to stay with them. You won't end the relationship after one or two silly fights. You'll put in more effort than you did in your previous relationships, because you know that this relationship is worth preserving.

Serious relationships require you to act differently than flings do, so you'll have to change your way of dealing with your partner. Have you ever been in a serious relationship, or have they all been pretty casual?