And the answer is a resounding no!
It's more than customary to move past the online avenue and meet in person for a drink these days, but take that social sip with caution. You really don't know the person past a few casuals email conversations or phone calls and although your intentions may be pure...theirs may not be.
It may seem like meeting at the local watering hole is safe enough, however, having even one drink may do more than just calm those "meeting someone new" nerves. In fact, drinking has the potential to lead to poor decision making skills; ones that might leave you wondering "What was I thinking" or worse yet...your friends wondering "Where is he/she?" I can't tell you how many "I wish I didn't do that" testimonies I've been told during my time as an online dater...and dare I say, I've regretfully said it myself once or twice.
If you really want to see if you've made a love connection, go as your sober self and expect the same from your suitor. Have a cup of Joe, latte or a tea and get to know the real deal you're thinking about dating. People are different when they've had a drink, isn't the objective to get to know each other better? A cup of coffee may seem a bit boring, but you've got plenty of time to kick up your heels and party with your new partner...should they be "the one."
If you can't get your date to respond with a resounding "yes" to the "no drink" request for your first date, then say no thanks and keep searching. Someone who is a serious searcher and moreover, seriously interested in you, would be respectful enough to honor your wishes without making you feel like you've already disappointed them.
When it comes to first dates and drinking...just say no!