Enneagram Pairing Type 5 & 9
5 - The Investigative Thinker
Investigator, Observer, Expert, Scientist, Analyst, Specialist, Hermit
9 - The Peaceful Mediator
Mediator, Peacekeeper, Diplomat, Pleasant Person, Modest Person, Humble Person, Pacifist
Fives are part of the Head Triad, and Nines are part of the Gut Triad. Both Fives and Nines are also withdrawn types, which means they retreat from the world during times of stress and tend to avoid conflict. Fives are thoughtful, observant, analytical, and possess a deep, broad knowledge base.
Nines are magnanimous, peaceful, accepting, and usually maintain strong bonds to the people in their life. Fives operate under the assumption that resources are scarce, and therefore they do not expect much out of life. Nines believe that to maintain closeness with others, they need to capitulate and sacrifice their desires and sense of self.
At its core, Nines and Fives share an in-depth valuation of love itself. Fives tend to have a broad, diffuse, philosophical love, while Nines tend to embody direct, active love, so while their styles of loving are divergent, they tend to place a high premium on the fact that there is love in their lives. Fives, although it may not come across at first blush, care deeply about the world around them, and strongly value their relationships.
Nines are openly loving toward others, and bond quickly. Fives demonstrate their care through hard work, dedication, and curiosity, while Nines love comes through in their unconditional acceptance, calm demeanor, and obvious affection. Additionally, these two share an appreciation of solitude, structure, and modesty.
How You Complement Each Other
Despite being very different, Fives and Nines make a natural and complementary pair. If intellectually on par with one another, these two will enjoy stimulating, thought-provoking, and often very witty conversation. They’ll find they bring different, but harmonious intellectual traits to the relationship.
Fives will be masterful in their knowledge and off-beat in their humor, while Nines will bring a flavor of exploratory interest and dry understatement. Both parties enjoy a love of the bizarre and absurd, which can lead to a kind of initiatory conversation wherein they help to expand each other’s horizons and shift one another’s worldviews. There can be a good balance between light and dark, idealism and realism, and cynicism and silliness.
Generally speaking, Nines tend to be much gentler than Fives, while Fives tend to have a stronger sense of themselves in the world. Both types tend to be shy, modest, and avoid self-promotion. With one another they will likely not feel any pressure to be something other than what they are.
Their connection will be simple, relaxed, yet stimulating. To the relationship, Nines bring an open-hearted acceptance that allows Fives to soften and settle into a sense of being emotionally sustained, which is not a feeling Fives come by easily.
Conversely, Fives bring an ability for deep thought, rationality, clarity, and objective observation that contributes to Nines self-awareness and sense of autonomy. Nines will be sensual and tender, while Fives will be learned and unemotional.
To Nines, Fives will seem fascinating, intelligent, curious, and intriguing. To Fives, Nines will seem welcoming, warm, safe, and trustworthy. In social situations, Nines will likely pick up on group dynamics that Fives miss.
How You Can Get Into Trouble
In a professional context, these two will likely differ in how much they want to be involved with projects and decisions. Nines want to have the opportunity to contribute, although they will rarely assert this openly, while Fives wish to have time to come to their conclusions alone and don’t like collaborating.
Generally, Fives will make decisions on projects or strategy alone, which could cause problems for Nine, who wants to be included in the process. Personally, these two tend to escape into imagination, fantasy, and projection, which can mean that, no matter how close they feel, they’re not relating to the real person. Their expectations of one another can be larger-than-life, which sets them up for inevitable disappointment.
Additionally, neither Fives or Nines are going to be very forthcoming about their feelings—let alone aware of them—which can mean their relationship stagnates after a short time when neither can deepen their connection by being honest, exposing themselves, or sharing.
In truth, these two have such a hard time accessing their genuine feelings, and they could easily remain oblivious to the fact that they even like each other, let alone have a sense of what to do about their feelings. Furthermore, Nines have a hard time dealing with darkness, worry, depression, or cynical thinking. Fives, on the other hand, can certainly hang out in some of the angstier emotional states. They can exhibit rigidity, apathy, nihilism, and stubborn moodiness. This light/dark combination can be wonderfully harmonious, but it can also rub both parties the wrong way, with Fives finding Nine’s never-ending sunniness tedious and naïve, while Nine’s find Five’s scorn and characteristic grumpiness to be too much of a downer. Interactions can become perfunctory and dissatisfying.
What Each Type Needs To Be Aware Of
It is essential for both of these types to be mindful of how one another deals with time, expectations, and deadlines. Both Nines and Fives tend to be slow movers. They both enjoy a languid pace and require a good amount of time to process, decide, and come to their conclusions.
Fives move slowly in the sense that they need to think through things in depth before taking action. They appreciate uninterrupted solitude in which to do this thinking.
Nines can take a long time to formulate their opinions, as they are often clouded by the judgments and expectations of others, which makes them feel fuzzy and unsure. They can quickly become unclear about their desires to keep everyone happy and maintain peace.
Additionally, both Nines and fives tend to dig in their heels, slowing or halting forward movement, when they feel dissatisfied. Typically, Nines become unhappy and resentful when they feel their contributions and individuality have not been acknowledged (this is usually unconscious), and Fives withdraw into solitude, which generally means ceasing to contribute or actively participate in conversations, projects. When they feel pressure or conflict brewing, it is also essential to be aware of the underlying beliefs and false assumptions of each type.
Fives typically operate from a perspective of scarcity, wherein resources, time, and energy are finite. This is why they tend to be so protective of their solitude and so miserly with their time. Sometimes this manifests as clear and healthy boundaries, but other times its just stinginess.
Nines, on the other hand, are continually endeavoring to find the most peaceful solution, in an attempt to remain bonded with all their relations. They often forget or ignore their priorities to mediate all the demands of their social circles. In short, Fives can become rigid out of fear of lack, while Nines can become too porous and forget to attend to their self-care.
How You Can Support One Another
In general, Nines want to be praised for their contribution. They want to feel their role is respected, valued, and necessary. Fives want to be acknowledged for their capable minds, their skillful thinking, and their problem-solving skills.
Both Nines and Fives will be their best when both the expectations and structures surrounding them are crystal clear. Fives can support Nines by demonstrating healthy boundaries, which includes how to say yes and no, manage one’s time, and remain active in decision-making processes, all things Nines struggle with.
Nines can support Fives by providing emotional safety, ease, and relaxed connection. Both types will feel supported by one another’s eccentricity and quirks; they will be able to delight in many of life’s more absurd, wondrous, and weird aspects together without complication or judgment.
Furthermore, because Nines can quickly become lost in the intensity of everyone else’s desires and Fives tend to forget themselves to remain detached and emotionless. These two can support one another by offering antidotes to one another's particular flavor of self-forgetting: Nines have easy access to their hearts, something Fives struggle with, while Fives effortlessly take care of their own needs and maintain their external boundaries. Nines can help Fives to navigate socializing and building meaningful connections, while Fives can help Nines clarify what they want and need.
In A Romantic Context
The hallmarks of this relationship are spaciousness, non-intrusiveness, respect of one another’s boundaries, and support for one another’s individuality. These two can maintain a good balance between ample personal and emotional space, while also remaining connected and curious about each other. Nines tend to be undemanding, generous, and accepting, while Fives are loyal, curious, and open-minded toward their partners.
Although not emotionally volatile, Nines tend to be more emotional than Fives, but even still, they often have trouble discerning their truth. In this sense, Fives make excellent partners for Nines, as their innate inquisitiveness and desire to understand can help Nines to parse through their fuzzy feelings and verify their emotions with greater precision. Fives can ask the right questions with sharp, evident intellectual care.
On the flip side, Fives infrequently feel safe enough, and unpressured enough, to relax fully. There is always some puzzle to engage, some problem to solve, some pattern to map out, or some knowledge to acquire.
Because of Nine’s characteristic warmth and unconditional acceptance, Fives can soften into real comfort and nurturance, which allows them to touch their hearts. With Nine as a mirror and safe space, Fives will often let their emotionality to shine through.
The spaciousness and boundary-awareness these two bring to the relationship can end up being their downfall if they’re not aware of balancing their engagement. As both Nines and Fives are withdrawn and hesitant, contact and communication between these two can easily fall to the wayside. To be respectful, non-intrusive, and maintain their independence, these two can fail to meet basic relationship demands, like scheduling dates, calling one another, or sharing their thoughts and feelings. Despite this, they will likely feel comfortable and intellectually connected.
This comfort can serve as a crutch, as there will be no pressure to push them closer together or force them to examine themselves and deepen the relationship. In all likelihood, both will become a little bit numb or disconnected from their feelings, as they tend to do this, which can mean they don't know something even as basic as their feelings for one another. To intensify this matter, Nines tend to embody the “out of sight out of mind” philosophy, so even if they discover positive, warm feelings for their partner, when not in his or her presence, they might forget. Without the continuity of connection, the relationship starts over each time they see each other, in a sense.
Additionally, Five’s stoicism can prompt a good deal of idealizing on Nine’s part: they fill in the blanks in communication with idealization and fantasy. Inevitably, Five fails to live up to Nine’s expectations. Fives, on the other hand, notice the lack of constant connection from their counterpart and become frustrated and wary.
They can grow cynical and pessimistic about the relationship’s future, which causes them to become nitpicking, intellectually dissecting the relationship out of self-protection and anger. When this happens, Nine will likely start looking to others for support and a sense of peace, which can draw them out of their partnership with Five completely. Five will probably take solace in their interests or work. Without much reason to stay together, this relationship drifts apart.