The new relationship stumbling block after catfishing is ghosting.
By now, viewers are au fait with “Catfish: The TV Show”, which was inspired by the 2010 documentary feature, “Catfish”, where the now reality TV host Nev Schulman was a victim.
It was also through the movie that the term “catfish”, which refers to a fake online profile that is used to bait someone into a relationship, was first coined.
As a young photographer, Schulman was catfished on Facebook.
It started with him receiving a painting of one of his pictures from Abby Pierce, an eight-year-old prodigy artist.
In engaging with Abby and her extended family, he started an online relationship with her older half-sister Megan.
It wasn’t long before Nev realised the dots were not connecting and, with the support of his brother Ariel, got to the bottom of it.
Experience may have been a cruel teacher but there was a silver lining; Nev got to help others in a similar predicament through his MTV reality show.
Over the eight seasons, where he was joined by several co-hosts, the series had two spinoffs: “Catfish: Trolls” and “Ghosted: Love Gone Missing”.
The former show was about celebrities confronting their trolls and the latter focused on helping estranged friends and dating partners reconnect with the person who ghosted them; this term refers to a cease of all forms of communication.
In the end, they either get closure or a do-over.
Now the SA version of “Ghosted: Love Gone Missing” is set to debut on MTV Africa.
And co-hosts Shamiso Mosaka, an MTV Base Culture Squad TV personality, and actor Oros Mampofu, are patrolling the streets in an effort to put an end to the heartbreak haunting many.
The reasons may shock but, in the end, that unsettling feeling of being left in limbo is, at least, no more.
On whether she relates to the show, Mosaka said: “I actually haven’t been ghosted and that’s great for me because it’s good karma since I have not ghosted anyone.
“But I do relate to the self-doubt, I mean ghosting always leaves the person who has been ghosted with a lot of questions about what they did wrong. Was I a bad kisser?
“Is there something wrong with me? Did my breath smell on the first date? Does the person not find me attractive?
“So I think we can all relate to having self-doubt! When we like someone and they are being distant, we have a lot of insecurities as a result.
“Whether you have been ghosted or not, we can all relate to the show.”
Her co-host felt differently.
Mampofu admitted: “Yes I am able to relate to the show because we know how it feels like to be rejected.
“Being ghosted to some degree feels like rejection. Being ghosted happens with different types of relationships: family, lovers and friendships.
“We have all on some level been ghosted.”
Mosaka says they complement each other well.
“He is older than me and he brings in the more mature grounded aspect to the show.
“We have taken on the roles of good cop and bad cop. Oros wants to hear different sides to the story and he tries hard to understand why the ghoster, ghosted their friend or lover.
“Me, on the other hand, I am very much confrontational and just want to find out why they ghosted the other person. We balance each other in that way.
“At the end of the day, we both want the same thing and that is to help people get closure,” she explained.
Compassion goes a long way in a show like this and the hosts have it in abundance with every case.
As for some of the common reasons for ghosting, Mosaka said: “I have found that, for those who have been ghosted, it really wasn’t their fault.
“It does obviously make you question your self-esteem and make you ask a lot of questions about what you are doing wrong but ultimately, the ghosters, always come out to say, ‘It actually has nothing to do with you, and it’s all me.
“I am the one who was not ready for commitment’.
“And that is great because it gives people an opportunity to learn that you don’t always have to blame yourself for the way someone else treats you.”
With the ghosting phenomenon becoming increasingly popular, Mampofu weighed in on whether it was a kinder or harsher way to let someone down.
He said: “I don’t think ghosting is cool! Anything that puts you in a position to feel like there is a gap or a void around a situation is not cool and that makes ghosting much harsher. It is a harsher way but many people see it as an easier way out.
“I am always surprised by people’s stories on the show.
“Every episode left me shook because I realised there are different levels of being ghosted and I wasn’t aware of them until I interacted with the different guests on the show.”
“Ghosted: Love Gone Missing” airs on MTV Africa (DStv channel 130) on Mondays at 9.30pm.