Type 4 with Type 5 - Recipe for disaster?

Type 4 with Type 5 - Recipe for disaster?

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  • 2 Post By exploremore
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  • 1 Post By Saiyed En Sabah Nur

This is a discussion on Type 4 with Type 5 - Recipe for disaster? within the Enneagram Personality Theory Forum forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; Hi Everyone, This is my first post on here, and I've found many others to be very helpful. I would ...

  1. #1

    Type 4 with Type 5 - Recipe for disaster?

    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post on here, and I've found many others to be very helpful. I would love some thoughts on this...I've read all that I can find online about relationships between Type 4's and Type 5's, and everything I've read doesn't quite seem to hit the nail on the head with this discussion.

    This question can apply to both close friendships and romantic relationships. I'm a 4 and my partner is a 5, and I've recently found myself super discouraged because it feels like we are on two polar opposite ends of connection.

    I'll speak about it conceptually rather than personally (something I'm learning to do) so that it's easier to apply to more people and get feedback. Maybe it will reach both the 4's and the 5's.

    My discouragement lies in this...if 4's desire to share and be known...to be able to explore the depths of emotion and deep heart places and share them with people but 5's tend to stay in the mind and desire to share knowledge and explore the mental world...how can the two find common ground and be fulfilled? Also, if 4's hate to feel rejection and desire to connect but 5's often get overwhelmed and withdraw, it seems as if it would leave one party continually feeling unfulfilled.

    For the 4 - feeling like he/she is too much, too overwhelming, that his/her feelings don't matter, and that he/she is not celebrated for the things that are important to him/her. And for the 5 - feeling like he/she can't have the space he/she needs to process, feeling like he/she is being invaded by connection...etc.

    It just sometimes feels impossible to make these opposites work, and for me, as a 4, causes me to wall up, shut down, and feel like the situation is hopeless. It doesn't feel fair for me to not be able to share the depth of emotions and experience connection but it also doesn't feel fair for a 5 to have to push themselves to connect when they want to withdraw. I'm a type 4w3 and my partner is a type 5w4 if that helps!

    My question is this...? How can these two types meet in the middle, find common ground, feel valued and loved, and make a relationship work? I'd love to hear some success stories.
    ewdenore and ukulele thanked this post.

  2. #2
    Type 5

    I wonder if a 3 wing might lead to more incompatibility than the 4 piece. I get along easily with 4s but tend to find 3s unpleasant.

    Do you have an idea of the enneagram instincts of the 2 of you?

  3. #3

    Hi Ewdenore,

    I don't actually know anything about the instincts! I'll have to look into that. And...you could be right! I'll do some digging. Thanks for your response!
    ewdenore thanked this post.

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  5. #4

    Disclaimer: I don't have any personal experience with this sort of match (but that might actually be helpful).

    Assuming that both of you are at a suitable level of health or are willing and able to overcome the destructive tendencies of your respective types to have some possibility of getting along, you might also consider your compatibility in terms of Myers-Briggs typology or another personality theory. I'm saying that because I know that I (a type 5) would fully expect an intimate relationship with a type 4 to be a disaster, but that's not because of my 5ish traits; it seems to have more to do with my being an INTP.

    Myers-Briggs' typology offers more information than the Enneagram about people's preferences, and that (along with simply asking this person about needs/wants) seems like a better starting point for figuring out specific reasons why someone has developed the type 5 coping mechanisms and, therefore, how you might work around those coping mechanisms (and whether you have any hope of doing so at all).
    Last edited by Saiyed En Sabah Nur; 02-20-2019 at 11:25 AM. Reason: tightened up the explanation
    exploremore thanked this post.

  6. #5

    Thank you for that insight.

    I am an INFJ, and he is an INTJ - but has tested as an INFJ before (I think due to the 4 wing). I think the struggle comes down to his withdrawal to figure things out - only returning when he feels he understands things to present his case (as facts, without emotion), and my desire to stay connected. Of course, 4's withdraw as well, but as a deeply feeling type, I feel like it looks much different than a 5's withdraw. Mine feels focused on maintaining connection with the other person, and his feels focused on breaking connection with the other person.

    Those are my observations, and I could be totally wrong about it. Thank you for your comment.

  7. #6
    Type 5w4

    I also don't have personal experience of romantic relationships with a Four, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work. I'm a Five and an INTP.

    If I'm in love with somebody, I probably already find them fascinating and special. I have no problem with "exploring the depths of emotion", if the person has interesting things to say. I like exploring all sorts of interesting topics around me, and it doesn't exclude people's emotions. I'm also willing and able to share and analyse my own thoughts and feelings ad nauseum, if they are of interest to the other party.

    Although I have to say that neediness I don't deal with very well. But I guess any type can be needy...

  8. #7

    Last edited by Kintsugi; 03-06-2019 at 03:23 PM.

  9. #8

    .how can the two find common ground and be fulfilled? Also, if 4's hate to feel rejection and desire to connect but 5's often get overwhelmed and withdraw, it seems as if it would leave one party continually feeling unfulfilled.
    Look into instincts and perhaps a few last pages of SX Confessions, Rants, Vents, Rages, Purges thread. (sx vs sp)

    It also could be a difference in emotional expression Fe vs Fi

  10. #9

    Not decidedly sure yet if I'm a 9 or a 4-dom (and I identify as an INFJ) but I was in an LDR with an sp (instinct) 5 (INTP) before and you just described one of the key problems in our relationship. I would always be open to exploring the depth of my emotions or whatever I feel at a certain moment, and in response, he would clam up and withdraw. I honestly felt like I was too intense for him so I had to lower my expectations, try not to be too emotionally demanding, and give him the space he needed even when all I ever longed for was some emotional intimacy.

    Have you communicated these worries to him before? I'd properly communicated my concerns to my ex, and he'd always say he was doing his best. And I know he really did, but in the end, despite all the adjustments we had to make, there was just this huge emotional distance between us that we couldn't close, and we couldn't make it work. But I was too attached to a future of us together that I didn't have the courage to break it off. He did, finally, when he had realized how much it was hurting me and that he simply wasn't ready for the relationship.

    I'm sorry that you're going through this. But I believe that as long as the both of you are willing to put efforts into sustaining the relationship, a middle ground could be established. :3

    Perhaps looking into instincts (sx, sp, so), as someone else has suggested, would also help in navigating the differences. (I'm thinking you might be an sx-dom and your partner an sp. If so, then you could totally check the SX confessions thread at least from this page that touches on sx and sp relationships.)

    I am now in a relationship with another INTP 5. But this time we share the same sx-instinct and everything is just so different from how it was before.

    I sincerely hope things work out for you and your guy, OP!


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