Have you ever been casually dating someone you thought checked all of the right boxes? You go on a few days and the trajectory of the relationship seems promising. Just when you think things are headed in the right direction, the person stops responding to texts, calls and just fades right out of the picture for seemingly no reason at all.
Yep, this is called ghosting, and there’s now an entire docuseries devoted to hunting down an answer from those who are doing the disappearing.
In the vein of its popular Catfish series, former Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay and recording artist Travis Mills are the hosts of MTV’s brand new show Ghosted: Love Gone Missing. Each episode, Lindsay and Mills help a ditched bae uncover why the person they were seeing just ceased all communication, leaving them lost and confused
We spoke to Lindsay, who recently married her love Bryan Abasolo in a star-studded wedding in Mexico, about the show and what the haunted can do to confront their ghosts.
ESSENCE: Talk to me about the couples you work with on Ghosted. Its got to be tough working with people who are desperate for closure.
Rachel: It’s tough because the haunted [the ones who are trying to understand why they’ve been ditched by their ghost] are emotional. Its been months and, in some cases, years since the person they love completely disappeared from their life without giving any type of reason. They’re left wondering, ‘is it something I did? Is that person ok?’ I think they need some type of clarity to figure out what happened and why. It really does go deep, especially when you start investigating these cases and seeing how the ghost was moving. When it comes to us finding the ghosts and if we’re able to successfully bringing them together to confront them, it takes us by surprise every time. Sometimes is heavy, sometimes it absolutely ridiculous. But our goal is to get those answers and provide closure for the person that was ghosted.
Pretty much everyone can say they’ve either been ghosted or did the ghosting at some point in their dating life. Do you think the digital age makes it hard for people to be honest and end the relationship face to face?
100% it does. The art of conversation is dead. People communicate in gif, emojis and don’t even spell out words the way they used to. It does sound like it needs to be fixed, right? All you have to do is tell that person. But people find it easier to just disappear or to just block someone. It is cowardly when you think about it, but it’s so common. It’s just what people do now. Travis and I are not ok with it, and we really want to bring awareness to this issue because its a problem.
Have you ever had a situation where you’ve had to cut off communication, either with a toxic partner or friend?
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to make my circle smaller. But not to the point where I’ve completely ghosted that person. They were definitely tough conversations to have, or we just drifted apart, but never where I’ve just disappeared with no explanation.
One of the controversial reactions to Ghosted has been people on social media questioning if it crosses the line between seeking closure and stalking. Some folks have tweeted that you won’t always get the answers you’re seeking after being ghosted, so why go looking for them? What are your thoughts on that?
I saw some of that feedback, and I thought, ‘my gosh, would never promote stalking or someone going back to a problematic relationship.’ We’re not desperate for ratings or entertainment. We’re truly trying to help people. So I would just encourage people to watch the episodes because you’ll see that’s not what this show is about.
What advise would you give to someone that doesn’t have the opportunity to be on the show, but wants to confront someone they’ve been ghosted by in their own lives?
What I find is that when people ghost, they’re non-confrontational and just don’t want to face it. I would encourage someone who has been ghosted to approach the person in a non-confrontational way. Maybe just say, ‘hey, I know you probably have your reasons for ghosting me. But for my peace of mind, can you at least message me and let me know if its something I did? I’m trying to close this chapter, or learn from something I did so I don’t carry it into the next relationship.’ If you send that message and still don’t get a response from that person, then that person has shown you who they are. Sometimes getting no answer is still an answer.
Ghosted: Love Gone Missing airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on MTV. Check out a sneak peek from this week’s episode below: