In colloquial speech, which word is stronger in describing romantic love: obsessed or infatuated? As in:

  • Alice is infatuated with Bob.
  • Alice is obsessed with Bob. [In a romantic context, not a stalking context.]

From a dictionary I can find the meaning of both, but can't really tell which one is the stronger, or whether they're equal in meaning.

Bonus question: Are there any more words on the scale of infatuation between the above?

  • Crazy and I wonder where it would be ranked. I think your question could generate only primarily opinion-based answers.
    – user140086
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 18:13
  • Why? In general this seems quite an objective question - unless this is more context dependent than I think it is.
    – Yellow
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 18:59
  • I don't think many people would use the word obsessed in a romantic context as it could mean something negative even though it is not in a stalking sense. That's my primarily opinion-based comment. So, it is not easy to compare the two words.
    – user140086
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 19:04
  • 1
    @Yellow - you might find the following extract helpful: anewmode.com/dating-relationships/…
    – user66974
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 19:17
  • @Josh61- I usually loathe attempts at popular psychology, but that two-page article you linked to (if you forgive the jargon, typos and grammatical errors it contains) offers surprisingly useful insights and advice on finding and sustaining loving relationships. Thank you for suggesting it. :-) Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 20:09

2 Answers 2


Obsessed is by far the stronger term.

Interested in or like would fall somewhere short of infatuation (the latter being far more common among teenagers) implying some base level attraction to a person.


Infatuated suggests a passion, often excessive, for a person, obsessed suggest a more sinister possibly negative preoccupation with someone or something.


  • (often foll by with) possessed by a foolish or extravagant passion, esp for another person.


  • to have the mind excessively preoccupied with a single emotion or topic.

The Free Dictionary

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