Addicted to someone vs. Obsessed with someone

_Yanni_

Member
Chinese
Hello:),

I'm wondering if "addicted to someone" and "obsessed with someone" are interchangeable. Or if the former is significantly stronger and more intense than the latter, because "addicted" sounds like being controlled, while "obsessed" just means being lost or not able to quit.

Below is the context. It's the lyrics in the first paragraph of Kelly Clarkson's song Addicted. Some verses seem like describing the feelings of being addicted, and some others more of an obsession.

It's like you're a drug
It's like you're a demon I can't face down
It's like I'm stuck
It's like I'm running from you all the time
And I know I let you have all the power
It's like the only company I seek is misery all around
It's like you're a leech
Sucking the life from me
It's like I can't breathe
Without you inside of me
And I know I let you have all the power
And I realize I'm never gonna quit you over time

Thanks,
Yanni
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In ordinary day-to-day speech, we would rarely, if ever, talk about being addicted to someone. We talk about being addicted to something. It's pretty much the same with obsession.

    In songs and poems, however, you can say more or less anything. You are not constrained by 'regular' English. This song's writer probably chose 'Addicted' as, like you suggest, it's a strong and intense word describing strong and intense feelings.
     

    _Yanni_

    Member
    Chinese
    Thanks heypresto. :) So it's just some poetic language. Like ordinarily we don't say "At night a candle's brighter than the sun" in everyday conversation, but we can express ourselves in that artistic way in songs/poems.

    In ordinary day-to-day speech, we would rarely, if ever, talk about being addicted to someone. We talk about being addicted to something. It's pretty much the same with obsession.

    In songs and poems, however, you can say more or less anything. You are not constrained by 'regular' English. This song's writer probably chose 'Addicted' as, like you suggest, it's a strong and intense word describing strong and intense feelings.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    You can be obsessed with someone you've never met, but you can only be addicted to something/someone you "have" regularly.
     
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