Internet dating is a little unnatural so most people want to know what the rules for first dates are.
Years ago people met in person at a dance or a party or through a mutual friend. It still happens of course, but more people than ever are finding love online.
As few as possible. Don't make the mistake of getting too attached to someone if you never met them before.
When we meet someone nice online we wonder what they're like. As we think about this wonderful person our mind begins to fill in the blanks and create our ideal soul mate.
People who do this are almost always disappointed on first dates. Not only is there no chemistry most of the time, but they regret they wasted so much time on someone they'll never see again.
Short. Even fifteen minutes or a half hour is more than enough time. Why? Because most of the people you meet will not be compatible. You don't want to commit to a five hour date with someone you don't like.
If you kind of like someone, you can make arrangements for a longer second date. Or if the other person has time, you can tell your date that your plans changed and you have more time than you thought.
Assuming you both work during the week and have weekends off, it's best to pick a day during the week.
Avoid first dates on weekends. Early morning on Saturday might be ok or perhaps early evening on Sunday.
There are many excellent articles on this site about how to permanently eliminate nervousness from your personality.
If you don't have a lot of time invested writing emails, and you're only meeting for 15 minutes, nervousness should never be a big problem.
Just have a few things prepared to talk about. Maybe you can print off their profile and take it with you as something to discuss during coffee.
There are also subjects to avoid on first dates. once again this web site has many articles on what to talk about.
If your date is short, a hand shake is fine. If you really like each other a hug might be comfortable. Use common sense.
If you made the mistake of going out on a very long romantic first date and it worked out for you, a kiss might be appropriate. Wait for the guy to make the first move.
Also make sure you're not being followed after a date. Watch in your rear view mirror.
If in the rare event someone is stalking you, stop at a public place. Drive around a bit and make sure you're being followed. If you are, don't go home. Stay at a bright location where there are lots of people and call the police on your cell phone.