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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Relationships between Type 8 and 9/5

Hi all:happy:,

I started reading about the Enneagram about two years back, and I have a lot of learning left to do:happy:. I wanted to ask you guys to share your opinions/thoughts/insights etc. about romantic relationships between Type 8s and 9s. There is, however, a small/big problem here (depending on your perspective). I am confused about my boyfriend's type. Intuitively and from what I have read (and from how well I understand him), he seems like a Type 9 to me. He often tests as a Type 5 though. I read the Type Misidentifications section on the Enneagram Institute's website, and that has somewhat reinforced my belief that he is a Type 9, but I am just not sure. He did feel like the description of the Type 5, sexual variant sounds exactly like him. At the same time, he felt that the type 9 description also suited him. My boyfriend isn't sure about his type, and I haven't compelled him to try and look into the enneagram more. But, I am still quite curious.

Why I think he may be a Type 5?
He is very philosophical, brilliant, intellectually curious (and rigorous), hardworking and aims to acquire a doctorate in Psychology (focused). He is an individualist in every sense and could not care less for conformity. He is an atheist and an anarchist...an independent thinker and a visionary. It's nearly impossible to influence him or coerce him to think a certain way or do things a certain way. He is interested in social psychology, cultural change and has a very creative thought process. I am very attracted to his iconoclasm, and his lack of concern for stifling social norms strikes a chord with the rebel in me. I find him fascinating in every way, and I am not that easy to fascinate.


Why I think he may be a Type 9?

He is very highly empathetic and kind. He is very friendly, pleasant, compassionate and trusting with me and in general. He has a very soothing and calming presence, and I find myself feeling a lot calmer just by listening to his voice and being next to him. He is very grounded, stable and extremely patient and forgiving. I can't emphasize enough how patient he is. He says he is stubborn, and I can see how that may be true under some circumstances..but he is very accommodating and thoughtful with me. He has told me that he had difficulty asserting himself as a youngster and often felt numb in situations where someone else may have felt anger. I believe he tended to repress his anger a fair bit, though he isn't very easy to anger:). I have seen him angry just once, and it's quite the sight. Oh, he is also an excellent mediator and is often called upon to help resolve conflicts. I find his strength and patience very inspiring because they put me at ease. He is probably the only person with whom I have opened up so completely and to whom I have revealed my soft and loving side. I can appear quite tough and hard nosed. We often talk about how he'll teach me patience, and I will teach him the fine art of retaliation:laughing:


I hope you can see why I am confused. In case things seem a bit clearer to you than they do to me or even if you'd like to comment on something I wrote, please feel free to do so. I'd appreciate your insights a great deal. I would also love it if you could tell me what you think about relationship dynamics between Types 8 and 9 (and even Types 8 and 5, if you'd like or depending on which type you think he is).


Finally, I wanted to add that I am an 8w9. It's interesting that my bf and I have never had an argument in all the months we have been together. Now, anyone who is an 8 or knows about them would be aware of how easily we find ourselves in the midst of arguments. We are just able to talk things out calmly and respectfully and discussions never escalate to arguments (though I wouldn't mind if they did!). Sometimes, I wish we'd have an argument just so I'd experience what it's like with him:laughing: I tend to get into arguments with my type 5 friends a lot more.

p.s. I realize my descriptions are overly simplified:). I am still learning:happy:. Thanks for reading:)
 

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Hi there! He sounds like a 9 to me, but it's hard to pinpoint why. I guess because everything you said could be considered nine traits, but not necessarily 5 traits.

I've heard 8+9 is a great couple and I could see myself with an 8 woman. http://personalitycafe.com/type-8-forum-challenger/8086-type-eight-compatibility.html

Could you say what you like/dislike about him? And what he likes/dislikes about you? If so, please mention feelings that come with it. I think it would help clarify things for you!
 
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hi!
Thanks very much for the reply. Yeah, instinctively also, he feels like a 9 to me. I should also point out that he can retreat to the safety of his mind and be quite cerebral. At the same time, he is very creative and writes pretty amazing poetry. I have also noticed that, while he is strong and resilient, very high stress situations can overwhelm him and have more of an impact on him than they do on me ). He does recover very well. I think as an 8, I handle stress without letting it affect me in the moment. Under prolonged periods of stress, I tend to withdraw and become quieter, secretive, emotionally closed up and so on . I was wondering if 5s are less/more easily overwhelmed than 9s. The 5w4 description also seemed to apply to him.

I like all the things I have mentioned about him and then some:laughing: I do worry that I may misinterpret his response to very high stress situations as weakness because of my level of armouring, and how well I can handle pressure. I need to feel like the person I am with is strong. I notice weakness in people easily and often start to dislike that aspect of their personality. Now, I try to be as fair as possible and remind myself that he is human and feeling the way he does can't affect how strong he is as aperson (and he is incredibly strong on all fronts or else we would not have been together). I, honestly, don't think I dislike anything about him. Also, I remind him when I feel he is being slightly indirect that I prefer directness at all times and that usually settles it. I am worried that we have never had an argument because I am concerned about how he'll respond if I got angry with him. I worry that it would put him off, though he says that he loves and values my rage:laughing:, particularly the kind we share because of social injustices etc.
I have been angry around him in the past (it;s not frequent, but happened because I thought a certain situation was unfair/unjust and I wasn't being treated right by a friend). He didn't seem fazed by my anger ( I didn't and do not shout/scream or become abusive. I do sound cold, authoritative and upset) and I felt calmer and more relaxed because his behaviour was so stable and soothing.


How do other 9s deal with upset feelings on their significant other's end? What about 5s? :happy:

I don't think he dislikes anything about me, not yet:laughing: As for what he likes, he likes my assertiveness, power (as he calls it), strength, rage :laughing: (as described above), protectiveness, intensity, warmth, politeness, affection (affectionate nature), generosity, kindness, sensitivity, sense of dutifulness, sense of humour and so on. He finds my presence comforting as I do his. I feel very understood and respected.

In the past, I have been called 'masculine' in a relationship because of my assertiveness I guess? But, with my bf, I feel like he accepts me for who I am and admires the traits that have intimidated other men. He treats me with compassion and respect, and though I don't cry easily, I have done so because of how deeply he has touched me emotionally. This is a side of me, a vulnerability that I hide from both myself and others. I grew up in an abusive household and expressing emotion was punished quite harshly. Being able to cry was a luxury, so I can have serious difficulty being vulnerable around mates. .but he makes it a lot easier because I can count on his kindness:happy:. In other words, I feel incredibly safe with him (emotionally, psychologically, physically) and that means the world to me:happy:.I feel constantly at war with the world (armed and ready, psychologically speaking), and he is my peaceful haven.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the link! I have read that on the Enneagram website recently. My relationship seems to be a combination of the descriptions of type 8s with type 5s and 9s. My bf tends to take pride in his ability to do without comforts etc. I can be self-indulgent. I want to be financially secure (of my own efforts only) and he does to, but I think I am more into acquiring a certain kind of home and being a high power career woman. He is as ambitious as I am and more, but in a more cerebral sense( In the sense of acquiring knowledge, which I also value highly...but I am more power oriented). We also feel like misfits and that brings us together. Pretty much everything in the type 5 and 8 compatibility section describes our relationship, and I can say the same for the type 8 and 9 compatibility,except the part about parental roles. The two provide a very complete picture. It's confusing:) what his type is.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh my god! Wow, now that is exciting. Thanks a ton for the link! So, Type 8 ladies tend to really fall for their 9 lovers (goes both ways:cool:). The female 8s' preference for male 9s is not very surprising:). Experientially, 8s and 9s seem to compliment each other very well. I am curious about how many other 8-9 couples there are on this forum:), especially 8 ladies with 9 men.
 

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Wow! @Boss -- are you and the boyfriend you described above still together and still happy? If so, congratulations!

Have you made a more permanent decision as to what his core type is? He could be either, but I agree that he sounds more like a 5-fixed 9 than the reverse.

I'm a 5-fixed 9 and my dad is an 8w7. Not a romantic relationship, but hopefully valuable input anyway since he and I have known each other for my whole life (nearly 28 years) and despite some fundamental differences between us, we still have a smooth relationship. Since 8 has a line of connection to 5 and therefore to level-headed, rational thinking, my dad was always impressed with my ability to be very level-headed and analytical. My mom and brothers are more emotional/sentimental (F-preference) 2 and 6s, and my dad always had a difficult time reaching mutual understanding with them due to their mushy softness, subjective emotionality & sensitivity/fragility and his lack thereof. I have an F-preference too, and I've felt that that was a plus in my relationship with my dad (a T preference in me would have caused our relationship to be more like what you described you experience with your Type 5 friends -- more brittle, fight-ridden and potentially breakable due to neither of us caring as much how the other feels), but it was also most definitely a plus that I have more analytical 5ness in my nature than my mom and brothers have because that gave me more in common with my dad and gave us the ability to understand one another quite well. My dad and I always had the bond of being able to have stimulating conversations about philosophy or ideas that my mom and brothers just weren't interested in or didn't understand.

My core-9 nature is also very beneficial in my relationship with him. Due to my ability to tolerate/endure, I'm resilient rather than fragile; nothing disturbs me too much; I hate conflict but I'm strong enough to hold out through it until happy relations are restored -- so if someone's mad at me, I can handle it without breaking apart. Due to patience, acceptance of others and a basic orientation toward relationships, I'm in it for the long haul if at all possible. These characteristics enabled me to maintain the relationship with him from my side. And my coolness, tolerance, and ability to have deep sympathetic understanding of others are a calming, grounding influence on my dad that has often helped him chill out / refocus / see things from another perspective / reconsider his priorities in situations where he's getting unnecessarily hot-headed and antagonistic toward others. After all this time my dad still tears up and gets emotional out of affection for me from time to time, because I'm the only one in the family who he feels has always understood, accepted, supported and encouraged him for who he is.

If we had had a romantic relationship instead of a parent-child one, I'm sure he would have had a lot less patience and unconditional love for me than he has had; he's a J-type who likes to have a regular sleep schedule and keep the house clean, for example, and it's hard for me to be responsible about either of those things, so that would certainly have caused some disappointment and friction. He tends to be a "MUST have control," "my way or the highway" type of 8, which is an approach that tends to drive me into passive-aggressiveness and dishonesty -- not a healthy situation at all; but he cares enough about me to strive his hardest to overcome his tendency to be overbearing around me, and we are growing together toward a healthier level of communication. From what you wrote above it sounds like you don't behave anything like that in romantic relationships, which is great. As long as my dad is being loving and open-minded and seeking connection with me above all, I'm able to be open and honest with him about my feelings and we can work something out mutually.

All in all -- if only I were more of a J-type... as a 5-fixed 9 I think I would be the ideal type for an 8 like my dad to be with. From my own angle of vision as a so-first 9w1, I'm secretly rather repulsed by my dad's [8w7 sx/so] insensitivity, shamelessness, inconsideration of others and general too-muchness. The biggest turn-off for me has been the way he has regularly engaged in what I would consider verbal abuse of my mom over the 30 years of their marriage. However, you stated that when you're angry, you do not shout, scream or become abusive. Therefore, the potential for you to become disgusting or off-putting to your boyfriend is very, very reduced. If my father had treated my mother with more restraint when angry with her, and had respect and appreciation for her the rest of the time, I would have respected, trusted, and appreciated him deeply and genuinely. He has so many other redeeming qualities that if his one big flaw had been absent, he would have really shone as a trustworthy leader.

So to me from your description above, it sounds like there's a great deal of hope for your relationship. I would love to hear whether or not you're still together and how it's working out! :)
 

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This was about two years ago... she is a 3w4. Isn't this thread cute though? ^.^'
That's what I was thinking, lol. It'd probably be embarrassing to go back and reread our posts when we were still newbies.

Are you implying she's undergone a change or she mistyped herself?
 
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