Might want to change it to "after college"... I've technically had GFs a long time ago (even HS) so don't qualify to answer. However, that doesn't make my terminally single 30+ existence any less desolate . I have been on dates 30+, and I think I handle them classy, but something is definitely off with my dried out game.
For example, they want me to talk, but nowadays it requires over 10 beers before I loosen up to entertain them when it used to require less. Also, I tend to be a dry conversationalist now (whereas I used be considered spunky). Also, I think I have decreased testo and more estro so I'm nowhere near the canine I used to be.
Most of the dates have been depressing (I can tell I'm too boring), and I just go back to my young neices and nephews from whow I want to leave a pocket full of change for, and I'll otherwise die by assisted injection in Amsterdam.
Well, I dated after 30 years old because of a divorce. I was together with my first husband since I was 23 and we divorced when I was 40. I met my present husband 9 months later but, because of my shyness, needed to use a dating site. I thought it would expedite matters. It did and we were married a year and 4 months after we met.
I actually think those sites can be useful if you have safety measures in place. Anyway, my idea of a good first date is a "do something" date. Rather than go to dinner or for coffee, do something where you have something other than yourselves to talk about. If I go to dinner on a first date, I am sooo uncomfortable because there is pressure to talk. If I am going mini golfing (that was our first date), or going to the museum or zoo, then I can talk about what I'm seeing or doing. We still get to know each other because as we're talking about our strategies in mini-putt, for example, and laughing at our mistakes (of course lowering our anxiety with laughter), we're also inserting conversation here and there, but in a low-pressure way.
So, that was my strategy. Online dating and "do something" dates to make it fun and take the pressure off.
Examples: mini-putt, art museum, natural history museum, zoo, botanical garden, ping pong at local university, bowling, engaging in a common interest right away rather than coffee on a first date.
My husband and I love biking and on our second date, that's what we did...our common interest. Another situation where the pressure was off as far as talking, yet the conversation flowed naturally from our joint interest onto other things. And again, LOTS of laughter.
I honestly think it will only be a good thing too. Everyone single after this age has "red flags/baggage/whatever." People have usually had a lot of time to think, and realise what they deem important in life/who they are, so you're probably more likely to meet genuine people from the start. They can't be bothered pretending anymore.