Hardly any. Maybe two or three tops. Here's why. It's important to understand that what you see in profiles and emails is not always what you get with the real person. Anyone with good writing skills can create the illusion of being wonderful, but it's much harder for people hide who they really are when you meet them in person.
Words on a computer screen are not 'real'. They are merely symbols for what is real. For example a street sign might say 'Main St', but the words and the sign are not the actual street. When you're dating on the internet the problem with words not being real is much bigger because people can easily use words to stretch the truth and even lie about who they are.
Most of the people you meet off the internet will not be compatible with you no matter how well they communicated by email or even by phone.
It's hard to believe but it's a fact. On the other hand the opposite is also true. Someone with very poor email skills might be your perfect companion. You might hit it off right away! They might seem harsh or even rude by email, then warm your heart the moment you meet them!
People with great communication and writing skills can also be great liars. Some people know know how to manipulate people with written words to get what they want. There is also a tendency to stretch the truth and put their 'best foot forward'. People will do this person, but it's much easier to be something you're not by using email.
That's why it's important to meet people as soon as possible. Don't spend a lot of time exchanging emails. How many emails you exchange will not make your first dates any better. If you like their profile and their first email interests you, suggest a meeting.
Although you will not click with everyone you meet, there are things you can do to minimize the impact of spending time with someone you don't like.
Here's what to do and how to make the best of it.
Understand that online dating is a numbers game. You won't feel comfortable with most people. Accept the fact that you'll need to go on many quick first dates before you fine someone worthy of dating.
Create a time limit for your first dates before you meet someone. Let your date know that you'd love to meet them but only have 15 minutes. If your first date goes well, you can change your mind and spend more time with them. If you don't like your date, you have a good reason to leave in ten or fifteen minutes.
Ask your date open ended questions like what they like to do for fun, their online dating experiences, or whatever that comes to mind. Keep them busy talking if possible because you probably don't want to give away any personal information about yourself.
If you're woman and don't feel safe, even though you're in a public place, mention that you'll be meeting your close friend 'Bruce' or 'Boris' or 'Chuck', ... in a few minutes and that's why you only have ten minutes for your first date. If you want to be really dramatic you can say things like, 'yes, I love Bruce a lot, but I wish he wasn't so protective and jealous. ... I know how to take care of myself. ...' or 'yes, I love Boris a lot but I wish he didn't have such a violent temper. When he sees me with another man, he just goes nuts! ... In fact he just got out of jail for assault ... All his friends are on the wild side too. ... In fact would it be ok if we end date a little early? I'm kind of worried he might see me here with you and I don't want to cause a big scene.'
If a guy starts talking about sex and you're not interested, look at him straight in the eyes and glare at him! Don't get angry, but firmly state that sex is not appropriate conversation for a first date. Then change the subject quickly. Ask a question to get your date talking about something else.
Make sure you're not being followed after your date. Look over your shoulder if you're walking and if you're driving look in your rear view mirror. If you are being followed, go to a very busy public place until you lose your stalker. If you ever feel you're in danger call 911 and wait for the police to arrive.
Understand that exchanging several emails before meeting someone, is not the cure for bad first dates. You will have negative experiences no matter how long you wait before meeting someone for the first time. You might as well meet people right away, instead of wasting your time online with people who are totally not right for you! All you can do is meet in busy public places and keep your first dates short.
Understand that the words 'terrible' and 'bad' are merely judgements you've created. So by eliminating our judgements, finding something good in every person, and accepting people just the way they are, our experiences become more positive. That doesn't mean we need to like everyone we meet or spend a lot of time with them. It all means is that if we accept people who are different from us and refuse to label events as 'bad' or 'awful' or 'terrible', ... our energy level kicks up a knotch and we feel a little better about each event in our lives.
Often we'll meet someone and within seconds we'll decide we don't feel comfortable with them or we don't like them but we're often not sure why. These feelings are normal and usually pretty reliable. Trust them and end your date as soon as possible.