Enneagram Pairing Type 4 & 5
4 - The Romantic Individualist
Individualist, Tragic-Romantic, Connoisseur, Humanitarian, Aesthetic Person, One-of-a-kind, Dramatic King or Queen
5 - The Investigative Thinker
Investigator, Observer, Expert, Scientist, Analyst, Specialist, Hermit
Fours patterning centers around feeling deeply wounded and misunderstood, resulting in their inherent melancholic nature, but also profound empathy and creativity. Fives main pattern is to engage the world from a place of pure objectivity and reason, giving them their characteristic inquisitive nature. Both Fours and Fives are withdrawn types which means they retreat when challenged to get what they need.
Both Fours and Fives value depth, solitude, introspection, and their own rich inner experiences. They also value the unconventional; there is a noticeable uniqueness to each of them. When challenged, they both value retreat, contemplation, and reflection, albeit in different ways.
How You Complement Each Other
Although quite distinct in their modes of being, processing, and relating, there is a surprising amount of complementarity between Fours and Fives. If Fives bring the ideas and the open-minded exploration, Fours bring an understanding of aesthetics and the way ideas to impact people, and therefore the world. There can be great synergy between their unique strengths.
Fours have an emotional temperament, artistic nature, introspective streak, and attuned sensitivity to themselves and the world. Fives, on the other hand, are intellectually oriented, with a vast and sincere interest in a great many subjects: they are the Enneagrams polymaths, and typically become masters of otherwise obscure knowledge. Between the two types, there is a beautiful balance of heart and head, merged by their shared passion for depth, what lies beneath, and endless exploration.
They also share a need for privacy and solitude, which promotes further agreement in their temperaments. There is an excellent potential for meaningful, multifaceted connection—a real meeting of minds and hearts—as well as the possibility to have a clear-sighted, compassionate impact on the world. Fours tend to balance Fives’ cerebral nature by stressing the importance and value of feelings, unconscious processes, and creativity.
Moreover, Fives bring much-needed objectivity to the million psychodramas continually running in the Four’s life, as well as offering a depth of knowledge that Fours greatly admire and appreciate. Additionally, As both of these types can be quite creative, and their creativity often lies in different sectors of the human landscape, these two can share a stimulating, wide-ranging, imaginative relationship, marked by inspired communication, quirkiness, and unique humor. Because both types often feel like outsiders from the rest of the world, they are prone to a special kind of understanding, a sort of inner circle relationship.
How You Can Get Into Trouble
As with most pairings, the problem between these two lies in the starkly different, often conflicting ways in which they handle emotions and stress. Fours are Heart types and are the most emotionally involved type of Enneagram. Fives are Head types and are the most cerebral type of Enneagram.
These two can share a lot in common, including a love of depth, inquiry, and interdisciplinary conversation, but when it comes to navigating emotional terrain, they could not be more different. Where Fours crave intimacy, closeness, and emotional enmeshment, Fives desire distance, objectivity, and solitude.
This doesn’t seem to be a problem, until the Four grows demanding, and discovers they want more from the Five. These demands will, without a doubt, cause the Five to recoil and detach, as is their natural response to emotional turmoil. They tend to retreat to the privacy of their self-enforced seclusion to process, and typically see no point in sharing their process with others.
This not only makes the Four feel abandoned and rejected but also inspires them to push harder, which only serves to distance the Five further. When this happens, Fives start to see Fours as melodramatic, needy, and emotionally unstable, while Fours begin to look at Fives as cold, unfeeling, and pathologically detached. Fours end up wanting more from their relationship with the Five, while Fives don’t quite understand what the problem is and want to be left alone.
What Each Type Needs To Be Aware Of
There are a few essentials for the Five lifestyle, and it is essential always to keep them in mind when relating to a Five. They are solitude, space and time to complete their projects and process their feelings alone, and intellectual stimulation. Fours also have their essentials for sanity. They are emotional intimacy, creative or artistic outlets, and vulnerable sharing.
It is easy for these two to misunderstand one another, resulting in confusion or feeling personally attacked. Fours need to endeavor not to take Fives’ solitude and lack of personal attention personally, and Fives need to strive to maintain a thread of connection with their Four counterparts at all times (or as often as possible). Generally, Fours need a lot more personal attention and recognition than Fives, who require uninterrupted alone time and ample space.
Support by giving this to one another. Beware that when Fives become stressed or feel emotionally attacked, they tend to withhold information.
This is typically not meant as a manipulation, but more likely stems from a belief that the people around them can read their minds. In these situations, invite open discussion to give voice to underlying issues, and also offer Fives reassurance, so they feel confident their presence is valued.
Conversely, when Fours are under pressure or feel emotionally attacked, they tend to dramatically over-engage, become wild, or impossibly moody. Maintain open channels of communication to avoid upsets, and also make sure the Four has plenty of creative freedom to explore and expand, both professionally and personally.
Do not expect enthusiastic responses from Fives, as they are rarely that emotive. Instead, appreciate the measured impartiality their feedback imparts. On the flip side, do not rely on the Four for any objective analysis in a given situation. Instead, look to them for strong, effective responses and insights into the underlying emotional content.
How You Can Support One Another
As much as it may pain them to do so, Fives will be most supportive of their Four friends, colleagues, and lovers by making an extra effort to interact with them. Fours thrive on contact, and while Fives may find it tedious or challenging, denying Fours the closeness they need can send them into a nasty tailspin. Conversely, Fours will do best to support Fives by giving them space, time, and solitude they require both to focus on their work and to process their thoughts and feelings.
As counterintuitive as it may be for the Four, if they desire a closer connection to a Five, they need to allow for some distance. Fours also thrive on attention and feeling like people are genuinely trying to understand them (note the word working: Fours will rarely feel understood, but they will appreciate people’s attempts to do so), while Fives would prefer to fade into the background. These two can support one another by allowing each his or her space to do what suits them.
These two will also benefit from their interrelated, yet divergent interests and strengths. Fours support Fives by helping them to stay in touch with their feelings and inner self, while Fives draw Fours out by exposing them to new ideas, perspectives, and worldviews.
Generally, these two have no issue tolerating each other’s bizarreness and feel the more kindred for it. Support one another by delighting in each other’s unique eccentricities and giving permission to the other to be themselves, follow their inspirations and create.
In A Romantic Context
Because of their shared love of depth, insight, interesting weirdness, and anything odd or obscure, these two can have a meaningful, stimulating, significant mental-emotional connection. There is potential for deep listening, intimate sharing, and lasting connection.
Fours bring an open hearted quality that serves to deepen the Five’s relationship to his or her heart, and Fives bring an open-mindedness that expands and enlivens the Fours oft-self-referential thinking. When right, these two can delight in private, dark and strange humor, thought-provoking and creative conversation, and mutual respect for one another’s needs for space and solitude.
If the relationship turns, however, these two can trip a lot of deep emotional and psychological landmines. Fours, in their endless need for emotional connection and closeness, risk forcing the Five into hiding with too many demands on their hearts and time. Withdrawn, detached, and alone, the Five can appear to the Four as unfeeling, cold, and inattentive, which frustrates and enrages the Four.
The issues escalate, as the Four tries to dig in their talons and cling to what little connection there remains between the two, but this only causes the Fives to detach further, often plagued by feelings of inadequacy and confusion. In this case, Fives will start to view Fours as bottomless pits of emotional needs; they will feel trapped by the notion that there is no end in sight. Lower level Fours will cause Fives to feel unsafe because of the emotional volatility, which will cause them to shut off from all feelings unconsciously.
Fours can start to feel like they’re relating to a concrete wall, while Fives feel judgmental of Fours lack of rationality. These partnerships can become intense quickly, and there can be genuine closeness, however, if these two aren’t careful, they will lose all of the goodness in their connection in favor of continuous processing, emotional subterfuge, and cold withdrawal.
A relationship that once felt inspired and full of creative expression, mental stimulation, and the heartfelt connection will suddenly revolve solely around talking about the relationship and emotionally processing. Eventually, the emotional demands made by the Four or emotional detachment on the part of the Five will prove insurmountable, and a break will have to occur.