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How "Open Casting" Can Help More People Find a Great Match

A new phenomenon based on old, and reliable, advice.

Key points

  • Bumble predicted that open casting will be one of "the six trends that will shape dating" this year.
  • Open casting basically means being willing to date beyond your "type," whatever that "type" may be.
  • Advertising, movies, TV, and many others around you may have influenced what you consider to be your "type."
  • Your "type" may not be the best match. So it makes sense to be more open-minded and open to possibilities.
Thomas Barwick/Getty Images
A Bumble survey found that 38% of their app users "are more open to who they consider dating beyond their type."
Source: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Are you open to "open casting?" People on social media and dating websites have been casting open casting as a new dating trend—something exciting to try in 2023. Calling something "new" in dating is likely to get your attention if you haven't yet found your real match via matchmakers, speed-dating, Happy Hours, Tinder, Bumble, eHarmony, Coffee Meets Bagel, GlutenFree Singles, Gothic Match, or whatever means you've been using.

So could open casting finally be the cure to all of your dating woes? Is this indeed a sexy new thing to try? Well, yes and no.

When I first heard the term, I was certainly open to finding out more about what open casting in dating really means. Open casting is a term that's long been used in the entertainment industry. It refers to a way directors fill roles in a play, musical, TV show, movie, or whatever: advertising broadly for anyone to come along to audition for the roles.

It is the opposite of closed auditions, in which directors restrict roles to actors whom they recruit. Directors typically hold closed auditions for lead roles, so if you are waiting for the opportunity to replace Tom Cruise as Ethan Matthew Hunt in the next Mission Impossible sequel, don't hold your breath.

Now, when it comes to dating, open casting doesn't necessarily mean that you should take out some ads in newspapers that say something like, "Come and audition for a role in My Life: Infinity War. Pay and benefits negotiable." Instead, you can find a definition of open casting​​​​ in an Instagram post from the dating app Bumble: "Open casting refers to how people around the world are now open to who they consider dating beyond their 'type' and are placing less emphasis on dating people that others 'expect' them to."

In the post, Bumble predicted that open casting will be one of "the six trends that will shape dating in the new year." The post also included the following Bumble-ing statistic: "38% are more open to who they consider dating beyond their type." That percentage presumably came from their poll of 14,300 Bumble users around the world, including the United States.

Alistair Berg/Getty Images
Bumble predicted that Open Casting will be one of "the six trends that will shape dating in the new year."
Source: Alistair Berg/Getty Images

OK, it looks like "open casting" is a fancy term for willing to date beyond your type, whatever that type may be. Iif your friends and family tell you to only date people who look or act like them, you may want to, you know, not listen to them.

Really, is that it? Being more open-minded and less close-minded when it comes to dating? Is that concept really so new that it needs a new term? So when someone declares, "I am going to try open casting," is that person just saying, "Hey, I've realized that I need to be more flexible because what I've been doing until now hasn't been working?" And a whopping 38% of Bumble users are actually open to such a new and daring strategy?

What is actually more striking, telling, and ultimately probably not that surprising is that over 60% of the Bumble users surveyed were not even open to such a strategy. In other words, a majority of people are still not willing to go beyond their established comfort zone. They have a type of person that they like and are sticking with that. By the way, how's that working out for them?

You may have heard the saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well, if you've continued to slog through bad dates and bad relationships, then it does make sense to re-evaluate what specifically you have been looking for in the first place. Think about how much your preferences have been influenced by advertising, movies, TV, social media, politicians, and the many other people around you who don't necessarily have your best interests at heart. Or don't even know who you truly are.

This isn't to say that you should abandon core things such as "my type needs to be kind and considerate and understand me without bringing unnecessary drama." Yeah, it may not be the best of ideas to expand your search to encompass people who are mean and rude, don't give a bleep about who you are, and really like drama.

However, if you have been focusing on people with a particular physical appearance, background, social situation, set of season tickets, or some other superficial quality, then you may be really missing out or missing the point. Ultimately, the goal of dating should be to find the right match, someone with whom you resonate. And resonance can cross locations, backgrounds, races, ethnicities, hair color, biceps, abs, butts, and many different demographic and physical characteristics.

So, yes, it does make sense to cast a wider net when dating, especially if you've been sticking to a certain type. It does make sense to be more open-minded and open to possibilities. But don't view open casting as no more than a new trend that you may or may not try in 2023. Instead, maybe view it as something that you should have been doing all along.

Facebook image: Just Life/Shutterstock

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