I developed a trick to overcome awkwardness during the 1st moments of a blind / Internet date:

Arrive early, sit at the bar with my back to the door & order a drink.

Here's why:
I'm constantly aware of social norms and I actively buck those habits because I don't want to be like everyone else.

On a blind date you usually decide to meet somewhere public. Being a proper gentleman, you wait outside & as strangers approach, you try to figure out which one is your mystery lady. The agreed meeting time passes as you glance at your watch & hope onlookers don't think that you may have been stood-up. Eventually someone familiar appears and you exchange odd glances with furrowed brows until one of you says, "Hi, are you...?"

This behavior puts me on the defensive. So now, I've decided to act as if I'm getting a drink for my own pleasure, like a badass loner.

I arrive early because I am, in fact a gentleman. I enter immediately & she hasn't arrived yet because she's a lady. I choose a seat at the bar with my back to the door & I do whatever it takes to keep my eyes from monitoring the patrons entering. I check the menu, address the bartender & order my drink before my date arrives. She's inevitably late, so I text, "You're late, we're breaking up." (But it's even more fun to save that until she arrives). I try to engage other people, especially women, in very light conversation while I wait. Eventually a fimiliar looking lady pokes my shoulder & introduces herself. I welcome her & I'm a cocky / funny / engaging gentleman for the date.

These actions tell her I'm comfortable alone & I won't wait for a her (or any stranger) to enjoy myself. She also has to search for me, which is very foreign & disarming for attractive women. When she finally finds me at the bar, she's relieved (& I'm the guy who was just opened by a woman). Then she sees my drink already ordered & it seems I've started without her so she's unsure if my tab is still open. For the record, I love buying for women when it's appreciated & earned. On the 1st meet however, she shouldn't make assumptions. When I playfully state 'you're late' and wait for her answer, she learns that my time is valuable & she will be held accountable. I'm a gentleman, not a doormat.

Works every time.