First date blues – tips for turning it around

After we've got to know our new single romance interest in the chat room, the time comes to meet. In the online dating world, things usually develop pretty nicely via emails and we can feel as though we know the person before we've come face to face with them.

Taking steps towards meeting new friends and meet singles online. I never thought I would go down this road, but once I had a look at some of the dating profiles, I was seriously shocked by the amazing talent and shear numbers of available single people on offer!

But that's not always the case. Often, during an online chat , we can be whoever we want to be – we can be a whole lot more confident behind a keyboard than we can in that place some call the real world.

So, you're a bit shy. The single person you've just met is a little shy. You're meeting for a coffee in your favorite café, but you've run out of conversation really quickly… What do you do?

1. Swap coffee for a beer Finish that coffee quickly and suggest going out for a drink or for a stroll. Conversation can be easier with the ultimate of social lubricants – alcohol – but subtly make sure your date is someone who enjoys a drink. If your date is a teetotaler then…

2. Go for a stroll Take it out of the chat room (or rather, out of the café) and hit the streets. There's always somewhere you can take your date. Before meeting up, have a quick scan of the city guides and see if there are any art exhibitions or shows that look interesting, and keep them in your mind as a back-up. If you're not a city-dweller, you've got the option of a nature walk. Wherever you are, walking will get the blood moving, the brain buzzing and the conversation flowing.

3. Break the ice with honesty What have you got to lose? Just come right out and say how nervous you feel. Take a leaf out of Jonathan's book…Jonathan is a 24-year-old college graduate in between jobs. He ventured into the singles chat rooms because he was the shy type. He also had friends that had successful online dating stories, and thought he had nothing to lose.

"I met this great woman online," says Jonathan. We chatted every night for almost two weeks – we talked about everything. We both loved the same books and movies – crime thrillers – and we had similar experiences working our way through college.

Finally the day came to meet. I chose this great funky little African-style café that was atmospheric. But once I got there with my date, we were stuck for words. It was crazy, we were getting on so well in the singles chat rooms.

"So, I thought, 'What have I got to lose?'. It was so awkward so I just leant across the table and said, 'I think we're both a bit nervous…I know I am! This is the first time I've tried online dating.'"

"It worked. She looked at me said, 'Me too!' and we started talking about the free dating websites we've looked at and the people we've known and from there, our real life chat picked up from where our cyber-chat left off."