If you’ve been dating for a while now, chances are you have a good idea of your “type.” You know the type of person you want a relationship with in general, as well as some specific qualities you’re looking for and deal breakers that immediately rules someone out. While it’s good to have a handle on your ideal partner, you can become so myopic that you end up missing out on some great prospective partners. That’s where the open casting dating trend comes into play.
What is the “open casting” dating trend?
Dating app Bumble predicts that “open casting” is going to be a major hit with single people looking for love in 2023. It’s all about being way less rigid when it comes to superficial dating standards and instead embracing the idea of going out with people you never would have given the time of day previously.
Given that sticking to our type hasn’t worked all that well up ’til now, it makes sense that more and more daters are willing to widen the scope a bit. And while the open casting dating trend encourages more open-mindedness, it doesn’t mean letting your standards slip completely. Going out with someone you have nothing in common with and whose lifestyle is in direct opposition to yours will never work. No need to take things to extremes.
Why it’s worth trying in your dating life
Maybe the best reason is that you have nothing to lose. At this point, all the relationships you’ve had ended. Whether amicably or in a fiery blaze doesn’t matter — the end result was the same. The fact that sticking to your type and dating according to a certain set of desires and beliefs you have hasn’t worked means something. In particular, it means it’s time to switch things up, and open casting may be a way to do it.
“Open-casting dating can help you see beyond the tunnel vision and find people that can bring positive dynamics to your life, as well as open up your pool of candidates in general,” says Berlin-based sex educator Nina Nguyen. “It’s not that you are going to date the total opposite of what you like or you end up with someone you don’t feel attracted to; it’s actually about meeting new kinds of people that even though aren’t your ideal prince charming still share things in common with you, as well as being open-minded about what other people can bring you even when they aren’t your type.”
How to do it
- Maintain an open mind. This is hard, especially when you’ve been sure about the type of person you want to end up with basically since you started dating. You know what will work for you, what qualities you want, and who you can see yourself with long term. But this incessant search for your perfect “One” is ultimately holding you back. Loosen up your list of requirements and keep an open mind. You never know what you might find.
- Let go of the iron grip you have on your “type.” Again, it’s good to know your deal breakers — someone who does drugs or who wants to move to the country one day when you’re a city girl —but it’s equally as important to be open to anything else. There may be personality traits out there that make someone a great partner even though you never would have entertained them before. It’s time to give them a try.
- Give the benefit of the doubt. Say you go on a first date with someone and it’s… not great. It’s not that you hated it, there was just no immediate spark. So what? The open casting dating trend is about saying, “You know what? Let’s do a second date anyway. What the hell?” because you understand first impressions aren’t everything.
- Allow yourself to be surprised. This goes hand in hand with keeping an open mind. When you do that, you might be surprised at the type of people you meet and just how happy they can make you. This is an incredible realization, one that’s eye-opening and will change you in many ways. Make room in your life for someone completely unexpected to come into your life and transform it for the better.
- Step outside your comfort zone. The bottom line is that open casting requires being uncomfortable. Doing anything outside the norm is going to feel weird and potentially intimidating, but only temporarily. Be willing to be brave and see where you end up. It could be the best decision you ever make.
Potential dangers of the open casting dating trend
Generally speaking, being open-minded and trying new things will always be an enriching experience. Even if you don’t end up meeting your future spouse, you’ll grow as a person and learn some new things that will aid you in future relationships. There are always upsides to even the worst dating situations, so don’t be scared of wasting time or missing out on anything by trying the open casting dating trend.
That being said, it’s possible to take things too far. Pushing yourself to be so open-minded that you no longer have boundaries or expectations will only leave you disappointed and potentially hurt.
“As with most things in life, too much of anything can be bad for you. Everyone should maintain some minimum standards or requirements,” author and relationship expert Kevin Darné tells Bolde. “Learning how to distinguish between having a must-have, a preference, and shallowness is very important.”
The truth we should all accept, Darné adds, is that it’s impossible to get every single thing you want and check every item on your list. Expecting otherwise will only leave you unhappy.
“Knowing what is most important to you helps you to make compromises you can live with in order to have the things you want the most from a relationship. Open casting dating is making a conscious decision to switch things up with the hope of having a better outcome,” he says.