Lavalife Review: Online Dating
|Visit Lavalife Website|
|Emphasis on flirting and chatting, good for casual dating, slightly more explicit content, interface cluttered with ads|
He Said/She Said Ratings
We took two volunteers, a man and a woman, and had them sign up for each online dating site, fill out a profile, look at their matches, and then give us their impressions. Here's what they thought:
"...I was kind of wary of filling out another lengthy personality profile, so it was a relief that LavaLife doesn't ask you to do that. But then you really have to figure out how to use it yourself. I'm not sure there's a lot of matching, and while I saw some attractive people, I didn't find anyone that really appealed to me. It's weird, because they have three categories: dating, relationship, and intimate. The last one is a little scary, and it's hard to tell the difference between the first two. I mean, LavaLife is kind of fun, but it feels more like I'm at a singles bar in another city, since it liked to give me people well outside the area I live in."
"... the Lavalife profile creation was easy, maybe a little too easy. It really seemed like they're letting anyone in the gates. I initially checked out the 'Dating' section, and the first guy I found had a laundry list of requirements he's looking for, such as [specific clothing colors she should wear] ... The next guy I checked out said in his profile that he was looking for 'someone to save him from this site, PLEASE!!!' When I moved onto the 'Intimacy' section, I was hit with a nightmare list of guys walking the line between desperate and creepy. And even though I put down I was looking for guys between the ages of 24 and 38, the site sent me profiles from older men anyway, some over 60. Lavalife's motto is 'Where Singles Click,' but from a woman's point of view, I'd say it should be 'Where Unattractive Men Go to Find Anything They Can.'"
Lavalife cultivates a more playful atmosphere than most online dating sites. If you want a committed relationship, you're better off looking elsewhere. But if you're in the mood for something more casual, you could have a lot of fun flirting and chatting with other singles on Lavalife.
There are three distinct communities within Lavalife, for dating, relationships, and intimate encounters, and you can maintain a profile within any or all of these communities. Creating a profile is quick and easy. You can use the same basic profile for all three communities, with a few extra questions specifically pertaining to each section.
Lavalife profiles are less informative than those on other online dating sites, since there is less emphasis on finding a uniquely compatible match. You can upload one profile picture for each profile, plus up to 30 additional photos and another ten "backstage" photos, which will only be visible if you grant a particular user a "backstage pass." You can also upload up to six videos. If you only want to participate in one or two of the three Lavalife communities, you should take care to ensure that you haven't accidentally posted your basic profile information in all three, or you may receive unwanted attention from members with different agendas than yours.
Matching & Searching
Searches are confined to a single section of the site at one time. You can do a quick search by age and location, with the option to select for users who are currently online and profiles that include at least one photo. Or you can do custom searches with more specific criteria, and save those searches for future reference. You can save profiles that interest you to a "hotlist" for future reference. Instead of allowing same- or opposite-sex searches on a single website, Lavalife hosts Manline for gay singles and Womanline for lesbian singles.
To indicate interest, you can send a free smile, along with a pre-written message selected from an extensive list of options. You can also send and respond to an email or an instant message. Members with a subscription can send unlimited emails and instant messages as well as see who's viewed your profile. It is not possible to turn off the instant message function, which can become disruptive if you are attempting to browse for potential matches.
Lavalife also hosts one-hour online parties five times each day, where members flirt and chat in real time. Depending on your area, you may be able to participate in speed dating events, which are held at 9 PM every evening, where members can chat with up to ten local singles in a half hour. There is an additional fee to participate in a speed dating event, but new members can participate in one free speed date within the first week of membership.
Lavalife includes an advice section, with articles about dating, relationships, and sex, as well as horoscopes and other resources. While some of this content may be informative, the primary focus is entertainment.
The Lavalife interface is a bit cluttered and difficult to navigate, and displays ads, even to paying members. Since Lavalife also has fewer members than the higher rated dating sites, it is unlikely to be the most efficient option for finding potential matches in your area. But if you enjoy chatting online, and are more interested in casual dating or intimate encounters than serious relationships, you're likely to enjoy the virtual party at Lavalife.
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Lavalife Forum Posts
- Lavalife Review
Here is NextAdvisor's review of Lavalife: http://www.nextadvisor.com/online_dating/lavalife_review.php