‘Love Is Blind’ creator on why they cast people who live in different cities

Dating is hard enough under normal circumstances. Add in the conceit behind Love Is Blind — where romantic hopefuls meet, fall in love, and get engaged without ever seeing each other, and then get married only four weeks later — and it gets that much more difficult to find your happily ever after. So why add in long-distance to the many other obstacles singles are already facing?!

Love Is Blind sometimes casts people who live in a different state despite each season being set in a specific city, as we saw in the Seattle-set season 4 where two guys, Kwame and Brett, were actually from Portland, Ore. That resulted in two of last season’s relationships being long-distance, which was a major factor those couples had to consider before saying “I do” in the finale (both couples got married, and one person in each ended up moving to where their spouse lived).

Love is Blind.

As Netflix’s hit reality dating experiment gears up to launch a new season on Friday, showrunner Chris Coelen is finally answering the burning question of why they sometimes cast people who don’t live in the same place.

“It’s kind of an accident,” he admits to EW. “We always want the casting pool to be as big as possible, because we want tomallow people to cast themselves, basically. You put people in the pod and then they figure it out. They figure out who they connect with or who they don’t, and they control their stories, their destinies.”

While multiple past contestants have dealt with the issue of long-distance due to future plans/life decisions, Coelen says that it was only season 4 in which they cast people who already lived in a different state. “That is the only time that has happened — we did have two couples who lived in different cities, which were Seattle and Portland, and we felt going into it that Portland and Seattle are close enough,” he says. “I think it’s like a two-hour drive or something, which, if you’re like me and you live in Los Angeles, that’s like your next-door neighbor.”

He laughs before continuing, “So it doesn’t seem too far if you found the love of your life to navigate it. We felt like that was a reasonable distance, sort of a fairly small regional casting vs. somebody who lived across the country.”

As for how they decide where to move the pods next, like Houston in season 5, Coelen says their only requirement is that it’s a large city.

“We like to be in places that have a big enough regional population that we can cast a really wide net and try to get people who haven’t run into each other hanging out in the one bar in town, or they’ve all run into each other on a dating app,” he explains. “We want a big enough diversity of people, so we tend to go for bigger metropolitan areas just because you find more people there.”

The first four episodes of Love Is Blind season 5 premieres Friday, followed by new episodes on Fridays leading up to the Oct. 13 finale.

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