4) Avoid the D-Word - This might sound odd, but it's unhelpful to frame your date as a "date". Seriously. It puts pressure on both of you. The potential romance of the situation is implied, since you met on a dating site. Suggest 'meeting up', 'going for coffee' or a similar euphemism to not put too fine a point on it.
5) Choose the right time and place - If you want to keep things super-platonic to start, it might be worth meeting in the daytime. If you meet in the evening, avoid a schmaltzy restaurant in favour of a cosy bar or venue. Activity dates, such as visiting the cinema, are best left until you know each other a little better. Wherever you meet, agree on a public space where you can get out safely if you feel uncomfortable...
6) Have a way out - OK, let's be real. Some dates can go really badly. Sleazy, boring or just plain dodgy, sometimes you'll need to get outta there in a hurry. That's why it's useful to have an 'appointment' after the meeting that only allows you a few hours with your date. If things go well, you can of course let your 'appointment' slide. If things aren't great, you can stick to it. If you want to take this to the next level, you can get a friend to drop-call you with a reason to leave sudenly - though hopefully saying you need to go should be enough. And finally, remember to always let a friend know where you are going.
Why are your tips for a first offline date? Any stories of online dating disasters? Tell us below.