There's a brand new MTV reality show coming to our screens on Tuesday, September 10th at 9/8c and it's called Ghosted: Love Gone Missing. The show follows musician, actor and podcast host Travis Mills, as well as former Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay, as they help people who've been ghosted by friends, lovers or family members reunite to find answers. We sat down with Mills to learn more about this new show and his personal experience being the ghoster (as well as the ghostee).
What does it mean to be ghosted or to ghost someone?
Ghosting is the sudden act of cutting all communication and ties with someone. You wake up in the morning and find yourself blocked. You go to send a text message but you can't. It's when someone ends a relationship abruptly, without any notice, and disappears from your life.
Have you personally ghosted someone or been ghosted?
I've told this story for a while and now it's funny that I have a show about it. I met this girl online when I was 18 and she was from Canada. Somehow, it got brought up that we should get married so that she can become a citizen. Jokingly, I said, "Let me know if you can fly me to Vegas." She literally bought me a plane ticket and when I got down there, I realized that I'd been catfished. This wasn't exactly the person I'd been talking to and I found a way to get out of getting married. And that was to get matching palm tattoos that said, "Just Married." I went first and as soon as I got mine done, I went outside and called my friends saying, "Yo, drive down to Vegas and pick me up with some crazy story." While she was getting her tattoo, I was like, "Shit, I've gotta go." [My friend] drove me back to California and two weeks later, I had my palm covered up and I've never talked to her again.
I have also been ghosted, but not romantically. I got ghosted by my best friend in junior high. During the summer, he went to a religious camp for two months and on the first day back at school, I was like, "Hey dude, what's up?" He told me that we couldn't be friends anymore because I listen to secular music and he'd given his life over to God. It ended our friendship and I didn't talk to him for the rest of high school.
What motivates someone to ghost someone else?
Convenience and not being able to confront your problems. Not having good people skills. I also think that a lot of people are afraid to speak up and say what's bothering them. People have gotten so bad at communicating and it's a lot easier to look down at your phone, ignoring it. It's crazy because I come across people every day who hear about this show and everyone has a story.
Speaking of confrontation, this show gives people who've been ghosted the opportunity to confront their former friends, lovers and family members. How did this show come about?
I was contacted by MTV at least a year ago. I'm heavily in the MTV family, but I didn't really know if this idea was going to happen. Then I flew to New York and saw Rachel [Lindsay]. We shot something in the MTV studios and shortly after, they called saying that they had our first case. Then we flew out and started investigating. Luckily, I got teamed up with Rachel, who's a lawyer in her first life and an amazing one at that. Her investigative skills are on point and I think that I can pretty much talk to anyone. So with her and I, we've pretty much got it covered.
What kinds of relationships and scenarios will we see played out on the show?
When people first hear about the show, they automatically assume dating. And there's a little bit of that, but that's not all the show's about. We've seen everything from family members to best friends of fifteen years to people who were born in the same hospital. We really see it all and there's not one gender that's searching more than the other. It's literally all aspects of life. That's what makes this so real and personal, because it could be your cousin, parent, brother, best friend or girlfriend. I think that's what makes this epidemic more scary.
What motivates people who've been ghosted to seek out those who ghosted them?
I think the motivation for a lot of people is closure and getting an answer as to why something so important to someone could end without any information. For a lot of people, not knowing why they were ghosted is the hardest part and it can really affect someone's day-to-day life—from letting new people in, having new relationships and trusting people. It can really screw with someone's head. It's awesome when you can bring people together and they might not even want to repair the relationship. They just want to know what went wrong and getting to walk away with those answers can take the pressure off the situation.
What role does social media play in ghosting nowadays?
I don't think that ghosting is an entirely new thing and this has been going on for a long time. But before social media, you didn't have this Rolodex to check up on them. Now, if somebody ghosts you, you can go on their social media and look at what they're up to. You can see the photos of them smiling with their other friends. You can see them on vacation and that their life looks totally fine without you. I think that makes people wonder more and with everyone being so reliant on their phones, it's even more of a reason not to have a conversation with someone. It's way easier if I just block you and you get the hint yourself.