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We have awarded Lavalife our prestigious Bronze Award in this category, having reviewed 34 Online Dating Sites. Read our review below to find out why...
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LavaLife.com is a Canada-based dating website but has since become popular in a variety of countries to such a degree that its membership has rocketed to over 15 million. Users from all over the globe are using its services, making it good resource for meeting locals or people from another country completely.
A key selling point for some members might be the ability to create several profiles. This essentially allows you to have one profile which is looking for dates, one for intimate encounters and – if you so decide – one which only communicates with people who are looking for serious relationships. You can also control whether or not you “appear” online on each profile, meaning that you can go incognito to avoid any confusion as to why you seem to appear to be on several different parts of the site at once. You can therefore be a bit saucier on one, and more of a “family-oriented” person on another.
As a free member you are given quite a bit of leeway. You are able to create a profile, view profiles or search for others, but you are also able to respond to messages sent to you by paying members. This is unusual to dating sites, which often require both members to be paying in order to strike up a conversation, and means that you don’t necessarily need to shell out to get a date. That said, if you do find someone who you’d like to talk to, chances are you will need to pay for the service (otherwise wait for the possibility that they will contact you randomly). You can also send and receive “smiles”, though, which means you can let the paying members know that you’re interested in them, which might well encourage them to send you a message. In particular women will find this “reply but don’t pay for it” capability of use because women customarily receive a lot more attention than men. That said, if you’re a man and paying for the service it also means that you can email women and they’ll be able to reply whether or not they pay for their membership. Bonuses all round!
Photos are of a decent quality on this site, with most members choosing pictures which give you a real idea of how they look, without being distorted by dark shadows and grainy lenses. A good proportion of members have also made the effort to complete their profile in some detail, which makes more a more unique and pleasurable browsing experience because you’re not simply looking at generic phrases constantly.
LavaLife.com offers a good variety of payment options which should suit most pockets. Its cheapest option is just $10 a month, which is a lot lower than many sites available, particularly for the quality of the service on offer. We would like to have seen a few more features to help develop a sense of community on this site, though, such as chat rooms and message boards. Some sites also offer the ability to keep a diary or to write stories which others can read, or a members’ magazine for budding writers to contribute to. But if these things aren’t important to you then they’re not a major flaw.
Overall LavaLife is a solid dating website with great options for its free members, and a good selection of paid packages for those who want to make first contact.
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