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Enneagram Type 5 Relationships: In Love and Friendships

How to be in a relationship with a Type 5 Enneagram

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Especially at healthy levels of personal development, any Enneagram type can be compatible with any other type. That said, some romantic pairings are statistically more common and/or successful than others. Below is a description of the potential benefits and challenges of each possible Type 5 relationship pairing with the other types.

Type 5 Compatibility Analysis

What Enneagram Type does 5 go along with?

In this study, participants completed our enneagram type questionnaire, and were asked to describe their ideal partner using the key personality dimensions which determines a person's enneatype. This allowed to identify both the participants’ enneatypes and the enneatypes of their preferred romantic partners. From this, we are able to determine the compatibility of different enneatypes by gauging how mutually attractive they are to one another.

For example, if Type Ones and Type Twos rate each other as highly attractive, that indicates a high degree of compatibility. Similarly, if Type Ones and Twos rate each other as unattractive, that indicates a low degree of compatibility. And lastly, if Type Ones and Twos rate each other as moderately attractive, or if both Types gave opposite ratings of attractiveness to each other, that would indicates a moderate degree of compatibility. Below we report our findings on Enneagram type compatibility.

Figure 1: Percent compatibility analysis for Type Five relationships

relationships compatibility

What this chart shows

This chart shows an estimate of how compatible Type Fives are with other types. Our research suggests that Type Fives are in fact most compatible with other Type Fives. This is because Type Fives consistently rated other Type Fives as the most desirable romantic partners. After other Type Fives, Type Fours and Sevens were also found to be highly compatible. This is because Type Fives and Type Fives / Sevens mutually rate each other as desirable, suggesting a high degree of compatibility.

Our research also suggests that Type Sixes, Ones and Twos are the least compatible with Type Fives. This is because Type Fives and Type Sixes / Ones / Twos mutually rate each other as undesirable, suggesting a low degree of compatibility.

Lastly, our findings suggest that Type Nines, Eights, and Threes show moderate compatibility with Type Fives. This is either because Type Fives and Type Nines / Eights / Threes mutually find each other only moderately desirable, or there is a large difference between how desirable each Type perceives the other.

  • 1. n=1,301
  • 2. Population: global
  • 3. Live dataset last updated:

Let us compare this to the results for all Enneagram types using our Enneagram compatibility matrix:

Figure 2: Percent compatibility analysis for Enneagram types

enneagram compatibility matrix

What this chart shows

This chart shows two major findings. Firstly, across all enneatypes, the most compatible combination is universally that same enneatype. This is because every enneatype found their own enneatype to be more attractive than any other, resulting in the highest levels of compatibility. Although this trend is universal, the degree of compatibility does vary slightly. For example, Type Twos and Fours found their own enneatype to be especially attractive, with compatibility ratings of 97%. However, Type Eights only show an 84% compatibility rating with other Type Eights, albeit still higher than with other enneatypes.

Secondly, we see that the degree of similarly largely determines the degree of compatibility. For example, Type Twos and Type Nines are highly similar personality types, both showing high levels of agreeableness, cooperation, and team orientation. We can clearly see that Type Twos and Type Nines are highly compatible, mutually rating each other as attractive. However, Type Eights and Type Nines are very different, showing polar opposite levels of assertiveness, competitiveness, and emotional volatility. As a result, Type Eights and Type Nines mutually rate each other as undesirable, making them less compatible.

Both of these key findings suggest that interpersonal attractiveness is heavily based on similarity, rather than difference. Among all enneatypes, the correlation between the degree of interpersonal similarity and ratings of desirability was found to be .82, suggesting a very strong association. This provides evidence for the old adage, “Birds of a feather flock together”, and discredits the alternative notion that “Opposites attract”.

  • 1. n=1,301
  • 2. Population: global
  • 3. Live dataset last updated:

Remember this data is aggregate data collected by people's self-report of relationship success coupled with our research into personality type theory. Understandably there will exist many happy and successful relationships between people who have 'low' compatibility. Personality type is just one factor to a successful relationship, and there is a high level of variance in the data. There will be outliers and exceptions; this data is merely propensity to a successful match. If only love could be explained entirely through science!

Type 1 and Type 5 Relationships

How compatible are Type 5s in a relationship with Type 1s?

Type 5 relationships with Type 1s are quite uncommon. Their values and strengths complement each other in a variety of ways. Both respect personal boundaries, rationality, and commitment to idealistic pursuits. Type Fives enjoy routines and predictability, while adhering to the rules is important to Type Ones. Type Ones value emotional control and Type Fives avoid emotional displays.

Type Ones are certain of what they know to be true and correct. Highly principled, they hold themselves to high standards and they are sure to walk the talk. Type Fives, on the other hand, are always seeking more information which could change their minds. They may never arrive at a conclusion, and when they do, they are more hesitant to take action based on what they know.

quotation marks Type Five and Type One can clash about the way they live their lives.
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

Type Fives are not often chatty. Type Ones, sensitive to criticism, may interpret a Type Five's silence as an indication that something is wrong or that the Type Five is hiding something. Transparency and honesty are important to Type Ones, so they may view their Type Five partner's silence as a red flag until intimacy and trust are established – with a Type Five, this can take time.

This differences between Type 5s and Type 1s can be a source of friction or they can be a point of growth. In a healthy relationship, Type Fives can learn from Type Ones to trust their intuition and to be more decisive and communicative. With Type Fives, Type Ones find permission to open up to new information and different perspectives.

Type 2 and Type 5 Relationships

How compatible are Type 5s in a relationship with Type 2s?

Enneagram Type 5 relationships with a Type 2 are likely to struggle. Type Twos exhibit open-hearted generosity and an orientation toward the wellbeing of others, which can be quite attractive to Type Fives. Emotionally detached introverts such as Type Fives can be a compelling enigma for relationship-focused Type Twos. Type Twos take care of the small talk and other social obligations that Type Fives view as performative and trivial.

Despite the complementary aspects of these two personality types, Type 5 relationships with Type 2s are among the most contentious of all Enneagram pairings. Early in the relationship, Type Fives are grateful to their Type Two partners for fulfilling the couple's social obligations, and the Type Two may even succeed in helping the Type Five expand their comfort level in the social sphere.

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Both Type Ones and Type Twos focus on the needs of others, and this can take away the focus our from their own relationship.

Problems typically arise when Type Twos see the detachment of Type Fives as a tragic flaw that needs to be remedied. Type Twos are given to grand displays of affection and devotion, and they may be hurt by a Type Five's reserved affect. The Type Two's efforts to draw out spontaneous emotional responses from the Type Five are felt as intrusions to Type Fives who feel they must maintain their personal boundaries.

Type 5 and 2 relationships are healthiest when Fives practice being present with uncomfortable feelings, both their own as well as their partner's feelings, and when Twos allow Fives to bring their needs and feelings to the table in their own way and in their own time.

Type 3 and Type 5 Relationships

How compatible are Type 5s in a relationship with Type 3s?

Action-oriented Type Threes and attentive Type Fives build their relationships on tacit understandings of mutual commitment and respect. The Type Three will not take offence when the Type Five needs to clarify expectations and establish boundaries. Both show affection by devoting time and energy toward the shared life they build together.

A Type 3 and Type 5 relationship can make a great foundation for an effective business partnership. The Type Three articulates a vision, the Type Five conducts the necessary research, and the Type Three carries out a solid business plan based on the information the Type Five has gathered.

letter i in grey circle for information point

It should be expected that a Type One and Three relationship is professional to a degree, and can be less romantic and passionate.

A Type Five's need for privacy is likely to conflict with their status-seeking Type Three partner's high-profile social life and need for approval. In these relationships, the Type Five's most frequent complaint is that their Type Three partner is never at home. The Type Three may temporarily cut back on outside engagements, but ultimately, it's crucial for the Type 5 to understand that for the Type 3, stacking up accomplishments that earn the recognition and admiration from peers is vital to the Type Three's wellbeing. If the Type Three senses that their Type Five partner isn't satisfied, their tendency is to numb negative feelings by becoming even more absorbed in work projects, which creates more fuel for the Type Five's resentment.

quotation marks For a Type 3 stacking up accomplishments that earn recognition and admiration from peers is vital to their wellbeing.
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

Type 5s and Type 3s grow together when they create space for the fundamental differences between their two personality types. Once they've negotiated and established their daily rituals and traditions, often centered around family life, they can happily carry on separate work and social lives while maintaining the health of their relationship.

Type 4 and Type 5 Relationships

How compatible are Type 5s in a relationship with Type 4s?

Type Five and Type Four both have a tendency to withdraw from the world. While Type Fives retreat into their minds, Type Fours experience a deep inner realm of the heart. Like other types that neighbour each other on the Enneagram wheel, TYpe Fives and Type Fours quickly grow comfortable and establish a deep level of intimacy. After some time, outside observers may have a hard time distinguishing the four from the five.

This blending comes about as the Five partner leans into their Four wing and the Type Four leans into their Five. This happens even with people who have dominant wings that pull them in the opposite direction. While a person's core type is fixed, we wear our wings loosely and oscillate between them as we grow through life's phases.

Type 3 and Type 5 relationships often share quirky interests, but they approach these interests from different angles. A Type Five will be fascinated by the technology and physics behind the couple's favorite science fiction story, while the Type Four will be caught up in the exotic felt lives of the characters.

Type Fives are deeply sensitive people, as are Type Fours, but Type Fives consider their emotional life a very private affair. Type Fours can be hurt by feeling shut out when Type Fives don't spontaneously show emotional reactions. Type Fives put up walls when they begin to feel that emotions are flying out of control, further alienating their Type Four partners.

Double Type 5 Relationships

How compatible is a double Enneagram Type 5 relationship?

Double Type 5 relationships are characterized by unspoken yet palpable understandings, rituals and routines, and long periods of silence which Type Fives experience as peaceful rather than awkward. A pair of Type Fives can spend blissful hours in the same room, each reading their own book or working on their own project, content to exchange only a few brief words while pouring each other's tea. Fives who live together often maintain separate personal spaces such as bedrooms, dens, and offices.

Passive and withdrawn in social settings, Type Fives usually enter relationships with more outgoing partners who have made an effort to draw them out and win them over. When two Fives first begin dating, they are very good at setting up their boundaries, but they may struggle when it comes to truly getting to know each other. They take a great deal of comfort in knowing that they can rely on their Type Five partner not to disturb the equilibrium with emotional displays. Without realizing it, they may substitute familiarity with each other's mannerisms and routines for authentic intimacy.

Reflective wake-up call

When Type Fives hold up a mirror to each other, they are given the opportunity to reflect and grow.

When Type Fives hold up a mirror to each other, they are given the opportunity to reflect and grow. Type Fives fear burdening and intruding on others as much as they dislike it when people make demands on their own time and energy. When things become difficult, Type Fives quietly disengage and retreat. On those rare occasions when a Five reaches out for emotional connection or support, having this lack of communication reflected back toward them can be quite a wake-up call.

Type 6 and Type 5 Relationships

How compatible are Type 5s in a relationship with Type 6s?

Successful Type 6 and Type 5 relationships are founded on communication, commitment to endurance, and shared understandings as well as emotional and physical bonds. With Type Sixes, Type Fives have an opportunity to practice interdependence. Type Sixes, often imaginative worriers, welcome the calming presence of Type Fives. Excitable and quick to choose sides, with Type Fives they are invited to explore their own Five wing and rest in neutrality.

Type Sixes easily slip into worst-case thinking. They like to have everything out in the open, including emotions, to make sure nothing is wrong. Type Fives withdraw from strong emotions and may try to balance out the situation by becoming even more impassive. Type Sixes, whether anguished or exuberant, perceive a worrying distance when stoic Type Fives don't match their emotional expressiveness. When issues come up, Type Sixes may misunderstand a Five's silence as an admission of guilt.

quotation marks For a Type Five, nothing is more terrifying than to have another person depend on them.
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

For a Type Five, nothing is more terrifying than to have another person depend on them. Type Sixes, on the other hand, easily step into the role of a protector or provider while constantly looking for reassuring signs that their partners are equally invested in the relationships.

Type Fives fear being smothered and engulfed in the bottomless well of needs that a partnership represents. With most Type Sixes these fears are unfounded; a simple display of affection, quick and painless, can go quite a long way. When Type Sixes express their needs clearly and calmly taking care not to overwhelm their Type Five Partners, Type Fives learn the beautiful lesson that others actually can depend on them.

Type 7 and Type 5 Relationships

How compatible are Type 5s in a relationship with Type 7s?

Reclusive Type Fives and Sociable Type Sevens are not as unlikely a couple as one might expect, as they meet along their arrows of integration. When restless Type Sevens are at peace, they behave like healthy Type Fives. The quiet contentment of five is the point pleasure-seeking Type Sevens relax into when they are at peace with themselves and the world.

When Type Fives become agitated, the react like adventurous and convivial Type Sevens. Under stress, Type Fives not only behave like Type Sevens, they also gravitate toward Type Sevens for company.

A Type 7 and Type 5 relationship is most functional when the couple oscillate between the two points together. Type Sevens can be very effective at enticing Type Fives out of their own private minds and into social activity. Type Fives teach Type Sevens the value in sitting quietly with their own thoughts, present to each moment even when not much is going on.

High stake opposites?

Ones and Sevens are somewhat opposites when it comes to their values and ways of being. But this can be positive if they compliment these differences.

Without a dedicated effort to maintaining their relationships, Type 5s and 7s can gradually drift apart as they follow their different interests – The Type Five is preoccupied with abstract concepts or scientific theories while the Type Seven pursues thrilling experiences.

Both types live in the world of the mind, and mutual appreciation for each other's interests can help keep Type 7 and Type 5 relationships alive. Lively discussions, musings, and “what if” conversations can be quite stimulating for both. The ideas that briefly fascinate Type Sevens on their explorations are brought home and extensively researched by Type Fives.

Type 8 and Type 5 Relationships

How compatible are Type 5s in a relationship with Type 8s?

Type Fives share an arrow of integration with Type Eights as well as with Type Sevens. Type Fives become more assertive when they are feeling confident, and this earns the respect of forthright Type Eights. Type Fives appreciate people who are decisive and clear about what they expect in relationships – a characteristic of Type Eights. Both types value autonomy and inner strength.

Forging a new relationship with a Type Eight is an exhausting endeavour for a Type Five, but it can be well-worth the effort. Type Eights may try to initiate a rousing argument as a way to establish intimacy and trust. Type Fives are likely to flee at first, feeling badgered and attacked. Eventually Type Fives learn to show up and stand their ground. The rewards include a newfound spontaneity and the ability to engage with the world on a vital level as well as the affection and respect of a committed partner.

quotation marks Forging a new relationship with a Type Eight is an exhausting endeavour for a Type Five, but it can be well-worth the effort.
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

Type Eights press in for connection with an emotional force that overwhelms Type Fives. When Type Fives shut down in response, rejection-sensitive Type Eights are deeply hurt. They tend to express that hurt as rage, which pushes Fives further away. Gut-centered Type Eights value immediate responses as authentic and honest. They may view a Type Five's need to take time to reflect in private and process emotions as secretive and dishonest.

In order for a Type 8 and Type 5 relationship to succeed, Type Eights must give Type Fives time and space to recover their energy after intense encounters while Type Fives must give themselves the freedom to experience and share their own raw emotions.

Type 9 and Type 5 Relationships

How compatible are Type 5s in a relationship with Type 9s?

Type Fives and Type Nines both withdraw when faced with conflict and overstimulation. Both enjoy the comfort of routines and a peace-filled home. When practical Type Fives and indecisive Type Nines form relationships, it's often the Type Five who steps into the more active role of advisor, protector, and leader.

When given the space to do so in the privacy of a shared home, Type Fives follow their integration arrow toward Type Eight and often take charge of managing the household. Unobtrusive Type Nines, eager to merge and along for the ride, are the most likely of the Enneagram types to encourage this integration, simply by allowing it to happen. Type Fives who are in long-term relationships with Type Nines frequently mistake themselves for Type Eights when first introduced to the Enneagram.

letter i in grey circle for information point

A Type 9 and Type 5 relationship can be comfortable and cosy for both parties as long as they are both able to articulate their needs and desires

Both Fives and Nines idealize tacit understandings, but the belief that one exists where it does not can lead to serious trouble. A Type Five in their industrious Type Eight mode may read a Type Nine's affable compliance as enthusiastic support, while in reality the Type Nine is keeping the lid on simmering resentment in order to keep the peace.

A Type 9 and Type 5 relationship can be comfortable and cosy for both parties as long as they are both able to articulate their needs and desires, and when they have the courage to resolve rather than avoid their inevitable conflicts. Attentive listeners and practical planners, Type Fives have the potential to provide structure and support, helping dreamy Type Nines to turn their visions into realities.

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Chloe Yarwood, MSc

University of Chichester, Advanced Applied Psychology

Chloe Yarwood, MSc in Advanced Applied Psychology from University of Chichester. Specialist in personality type theory and developing valid personality questionnaires.