Keywords to Avoid when Dating Online

Before you use that search engine, learn how to become a wise, online dater when looking for real love.

Getting wiser about online datingFrom Match and eharmony, to the ubiquitous Christian Mingle, online dating sites have become the way for singles of all ages and backgrounds to meet in hopes of finding lasting love. Establishing a romantic relationship via the internet has become so fashionable that, according to the latest data, three out of four US singles have tried dating websites. Not only do these services claim to offer a perfect match based on your own unique personality and desired traits, but they also provide a sense of safety and simplicity that may or may not be completely accurate.

I've been cyber-dating for a while and my experience has been somewhat mixed. I did find a wonderful man once and things looked serious for a while, but unfortunately we found out that marriage wasn't in the cards for us. Although, the way we met allowed us to avoid wasting time.The more you search the web for partners, the faster you begin to see the patterns in the way potential dates set up profiles or keywords are used.

So, before you open a browser or hit that keyboard, become a wiser computer-dater by gleaning from what I've found along the way:

Safety first: Most sites will tell you not to share your personal email or phone number with other daters, and they are right. Consider it a red flag when someone on the site pressures you into sharing this type of information right off the bat. If they won't use the site's communication tools, they're not worth your time or attention.

Bad is bad, no matter whose site they're on: Whether you want to "find God's match for you" or just someone safe to chat with, do not be fooled by believing that a Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist site will only showcase people from that particular religion or that have high spiritual values. Dating sites are open to everyone, and the only thing that can kick a subscriber out is the use of profanity or images that show nudity. Use the same common sense in religious sites as you would anywhere else.

PHOTOS: The hottest Latin lovebirds of the moment

Spot the fake: One of the most common, fake male profiles goes as follows: A widower, with one child, engineer (usually in the oil industry), earning over $100,000 and who lives in the US in a town so small you have to look it up in a map. The summaries or descriptive paragraphs usually look like they were either written by a marketing expert or written so poorly you can't make sense of anything they say. Also, make sure to match the picture used in the profile with the physical description of the subscriber.

The key's in the words: Keep an eye for words and phrases used as euphemisms or to cover up a potential problem. On the other hand, don't miss the good ones, either!

- In between jobs, finally retired (and he's only 28): unfortunately these can be telltale signs that he's not working, and sometimes, no longer looking for work.
-Taking care of mom/dad: Lives at home
-Enjoy cooking and staying at home: Usually someone who enjoys someone else's cooking and is not willing to spend money going out. Unfortunately, this is also a symptomatic phrase among Latinos who still believe that a woman's only place is in the kitchen.

-Love to dance, travel or walk on the beach: Any activity that takes two to tango, is always a good sign that this chico or chica is ready for love.

Don't forget the photos: If the candidate doesn't include a picture in his profile, I don't even answer their communication. I wasn't afraid or shy to post my photos; I expect him to do the same. If his profile includes several pictures of him with his motorcycle or car collection be sure that he already has a "girlfriend" and her name is Harley Davidson!

Mostly, as with any other life relationships, follow your heart and pay attention to your brain.

For content that speaks to you, visit Shine Latina