Kottayam district police chief Shilpa Devaiah visiting the spot where Nithinamol was killed at St Thomas College in Pala on Friday
Kottayam district police chief Shilpa Devaiah visiting the spot where Nithinamol was killed at St Thomas College in Pala on Friday

Today’s love affairs are more of emotional slavery than true love: Experts

According to psychology experts, today’s youth enter into relationships that are more of ‘emotional slavery’, rather than true love.

KOCHI: The chilling murder of Nithinamol, 22, at St Thomas College, Pala, has sent yet another shockwave through Kerala. She is the ninth person to be murdered by a ‘jilted lover’ in the state in the past three years. According to psychology experts, today’s youth enter into relationships that are more of ‘emotional slavery’, rather than true love.

“Intimacy, passion, commitment and democracy are the four components of true love. Nowadays, most young people are not really in true love, but are more in a state of emotional slavery — a state when one is addicted to a person and cannot think of living the life without that person by one’s side. In such a state, if that person were to move away, life collapses, leading to vengeful and vindictive behaviour,” said Dr Arun B Nair, psychiatrist, Government Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram. 

“In worst cases, jilted lovers go to the extent of eliminating the partners who have moved on, fixated that she or he should not survive in this world to be available to anyone else. It is this pathological possessiveness or jealously that translates into emotional instability and planned murder,” he said. 

Changes due to technological advancement, lack of communication at homes and social connectivity among the youth, which have accelerated due to the Covid pandemic, are a few reasons for recent drastic changes in behaviour. 

“The outlook of our society towards women itself is wrong. The male-female divide is huge, and starts from the family itself. Healthy talks about sexuality do not take place with males in the family. This approach should change,” said Shahina S, a social activist based in Kochi.  

“Due to Covid, students have not been able to go to college for over a year; even love affairs have gone online. This online communication can lead to miscommunication at times and problems in relationships. Also, there is a common notion that aggressiveness and impulsive behaviour are signs of masculinity,”

said Dr Arun. “Parenting practices should change, for a start. Reorganising the educational system by introducing life skills education into the curriculum is another step. Attitudinal changes in society, and a legal system that is swift with retribution and prompt in delivering justice would deter most such offenders,” he added.

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