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Three different profiles available – Dating, Relationship and Intimate
Excellent search function with a huge number of parameters
Multiple ways to contact members
Due to the sheer number of users, searching can be a long process
More suited to casual dating rather than long-term relationships
Lots of advertising, and reports of members being contacted by third parties
Lavalife is a relaxed, fun dating site that is more likely to draw people not looking for a long-term relationship, although with the millions of members, it is quite likely there is someone for everyone on there.
There are already more than ten million users on Lavalife, and this is a dating site that aims to cater for everybody, which is evident with the option to have a profile in different sections of the site (dating/relationship/intimate). In doing this, a first time visit to Lavalife could be a little overwhelming, so we took a look around to see what benefits users would get from a sustained visit.
It is very easy to sign up to Lavalife. There are a couple of short forms to fill in with your basic details, followed by a confirmation email from the site and you are away! There are the usual options to upload photos and flesh out your profile with more personal details, and also the option to keep photos. One thing that this does is encourage anyone to join (one reason there are so many users), and so it does not filter people like chemistry.com does with its extensive signup process. There is also the option to create a profile in the three different sections of the site, which is a great feature as it helps users to find like-minded people from the start.
Lavalife has many ways to search and browse for a potential matches, with options to change in order to narrow down from the millions of users. There is a main search bar where both subscribed and free users can search for users that are online at that time, change the location (within so many miles), alter the age range etc. However, it is in the advanced search options where Lavalife really impresses. Here there are a vast array of parameters to change, which include filtering searches by ethnicity, body type, religious beliefs, languages spoken, interests and even star signs. You can save several different searches so you can revisit them at a later date, which is very welcome due to the sheer number of options.
There are a number of ways to contact Lavalife users, including instant messaging, email, video greetings, smiles, plus the ability to share private photo galleries. There is a feature for subscribers to use the "Call Me" feature, that allows subscribed members to actually phone other subscribers’ home phone number. To get the best out of the site you may need a paid subscription, as a free user cannot initiate contact with other members (other than a smile etc), but free users can respond to emails they receive.
All information you enter on Lavalife is kept confidential and is not shared with other members. In their privacy statement they do mention that whilst they use up to date technology to protect photographs and videos, they cannot guarantee that they cannot be copied or captured by third parties. As with most social networking sites, images can easily be dragged from the site and copied onto a desktop by any member, but personal information including credit card details is all encrypted with SSL technology. There is also a small section with safe dating advice available, which are just common sense tips but still welcome.
Ease of use
Lavalife isn’t particularly difficult to use, but it is more difficult than some other dating sites simply because of the number of search options and features available, and it can be slightly daunting when you first start off using the site. That said, navigation is very straightforward with tabs and drop-down boxes used, and the website as a whole has a clean, modern look to it with an emphasis on visuals and photographs, so in no time at all users will become accustomed to the site.
Help & support
There is a comprehensive help section that covers all aspects of the website.
Lavalife is a very comprehensive dating website with millions of users. It might not be for everyone as the intimate section won’t suit people looking for long-term relationships, and the very simple signup process does tend to attract people just looking for fun. However, with so many users and search parameters available, this fun, exciting site should provide something for everyone.
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