If you're young and looking for a casual relationship, then Lavalife.com (Est. $20 per month) provides a fun environment in which to search for a date. Lavalife.com offers three communities, ranging from fully committed, serious relationships to short-term hookups, and its extensive search functions mean that you can be quite picky about the features of your potential dates. Unlike most other dating sites, on Lavalife.com you can easily tell if someone is inactive on the site, so you needn't waste your time on them.
Casual relationships and younger set. Lavalife.com is skewed toward the younger set, with most people younger than 32. Lavalife.com's unusual structure includes three dating communities: dating (which can lead to serious relationships), relationships (long-term) and intimate encounters (sexual encounters). Reviewers stress that this site caters mainly to those seeking casual relationships, and editors at NextAdvisor.com note that "Lavalife cultivates a more playful atmosphere than most online dating sites." It's definitely useful, though, to be able to indicate your level of seriousness up front.
Extensive search choices. Lavalife.com provides an extensive search function. You can search on many basic terms, including age range, geographic distance and uploaded photos or videos. In the advanced search screen, you can further limit your matches to people who have a particular ethnic background, body type, drinking habit and zodiac sign, amongst other attributes.
Reply to messages for free. Creating a profile, and searching and reading profiles using the user-friendly interface are all free at Lavalife.com, and there's an added bonus on this dating site: You can reply to emails and instant messages from paying members without subscribing. However, sending messages does require a paid subscription, starting at $20 for one month and decreasing in cost per month for longer periods.
Reviewers are impressed with the variety of ways to connect with singles, including online chat, video clips and instant messaging. Anonymous phone contact and mobile access are also available for an extra fee; you can also highlight your profile and position it at the top of the search results (Est. $3 each per month or both for $5 per month).
Can easily tell who's inactive. Unlike most online dating sites, Lavalife.com reveals a member's last login date, letting you see right away who hasn't been active for weeks or even months. With this information, you won't waste time sending messages to inactive members whose profiles you receive. One downside identified by reviewers and users is that you can't turn off the instant messaging option. In addition, reviewers say the site's openness about intimate encounters may well create greater danger for female users.
Neither the male nor the female editor of NextAdvisor.com is impressed by Lavalife.com. Both note it's more for casual encounters. The female editor calls the men on the "Intimate Encounters" community "desperate and creepy." The editors also criticize the interface, which they say is difficult to navigate.
Review: Lavalife Review: Online Dating, Editors of NextAdvisor.com, Not dated
About.com's dating guide Bonny Albo likes Lavalife.com's versatile three communities. She also praises the transparency of the "last login" date, which many other dating sites hide, because it allows users to determine if someone has been inactive for a long time. She also likes the many ways people can interact on this site.
Review: Lavalife Review, Bonny Albo, Not dated
3. Dating Sites Reviews.com
Lavalife.com has received DatingSitesReviews.com's award for top Canadian dating site for several years running (though the site also covers the U.S. and Australia). Editors like the three communities, as well as the ability to see the last login date and reply to messages for free. They gripe, however, that you can't know if you've been "hotlisted" (favorited, essentially) by another member.
Review: Lavalife Review, Editors of DatingSitesReviews.com, Not dated
This site has two (undated) reviews of Lavalife.com. Editors echo previous reviewers in that the free replying to messages and transparency of last login date are pros, while the emphasis on casual dating is a con. The inability to turn off instant messaging and to know if you've been "hotlisted" (favorited) is also annoying.
Review: A Lavalife Review -- The Good and the Bad, Editors of ChatNTickle.com, Not dated
5. eDate Review
Lavalife.com is the top pick for Canadian dating sites on this user-rated site. Most reviews are from 2011 or older, when the site operated differently, so the information isn't current. One male member says the older site had better quality matches.
Review: Reviews of Lavalife.com, Contributors to eDateReview.com, Not dated