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Enneagram Twos and Fives are double opposites, as it were—a people person versus a loner, a feeling type with a thinking type. Twos and Fives come from different points of view on what is important in life and in a relationship. And yet, because they are so different, there can also be an intense attraction to the mystery of the other. Twos and Fives are a more common pairing than might be expected: Twos can see Fives as challenges—distant, mentally preoccupied, not giving many outward signals, and difficult to charm easily because they are so private. It is hard to know what pleases Fives which makes Twos only try harder. Twos bring to the relationship a willingness to take the initiative and to pursue the Five—to be the first one to call or to ask for a date, no matter which gender they are. When healthy, Twos bring warmth, physical comfort and ease (something Fives typically lack), a desire to improve the Five’s living conditions, style of dress and eating habits—and many other marks of thoughtfulness-as signs of affection and genuine interest. Fives are usually not unaware of these, though they may not outwardly react to the expressions of affection of Twos, Fives are secretly pleased that anyone cares and is being attentive to them.
For their part, Fives are usually very loyal: they find relationships complex and difficult, so they tend to value one that begins to work, and they tend to put energy into it. Fives bring stability and quiet, dispassionate good judgment and objectivity, particularly in crises. When Fives focus, they are good listeners and give undivided attention. They are not as attached to outcomes, and so can often make decisions more wisely and be good advisors to more emotionally volatile Twos. Fives are often more calm than Twos, and this gives them both types a feeling of steadiness and of hope. In short, Fives stabilize Twos’ emotionality, while Twos warm up Fives’ coolness. Twos enjoy seeing that their attention and affections have had positive, visible effects on the Five. Fives secretly like being doted over and finally finding the nurturing they have unconsciously been seeking (but may have almost given up on).
Many of the issues that this couple faces have to do with their boundaries and how respectful or not each is of the other. Twos tend to become frustrated by the Five’s lack of immediate response to them—sometimes Fives are so taciturn and involved in their own mental world that there is no response at all—which hurts the Two’s feelings and feels like a rejection to them. Feeling rejected triggers deep anxieties in Twos relating to the fear that they are unwanted and unloved. This may make them redouble their efforts to get some kind of response from the Five. They may become more talkative, more curious and questioning of the Five, and more demanding-physically hoisting the Five from her desk, or barging into her library to drag her out dancing or to a movie because she needs a break from work. Much of the Two’s activities become a form of intrusion that has at its root the need to reassure himself that the Five is still connected with him.
But the more intrusive Twos become, the more Fives internally withdraw and detach emotionally from what feels like a threat to their autonomy and competence. Fives start to lose confidence in themselves and are actually harmed by being overly helped. Lower functioning Twos, however, feel that they have no value unless they are actively involved in every aspect of the other’s life. But the more they feel intruded on, the more unsafe Fives begin to feel, and they may start to fear the Two (because they seem irrational and out of control to the Five). Fives can also become cynical about the value and viability of relationships—and cynical about the possibility of finding one that works for them. Fives tend to walk away from the entire question, losing interest in having an intimate relationship often for years at a time. But the more distance Fives put between themselves and Twos, the more this brings out the Two’s obsessions and the more aggressive they become in their pursuit of the Five. It is a prescription for disaster, or at least loneliness, for both.
For further understanding about this type combination, read more about the Stress Arrow and how types Two and Five behave when they are moving along it.
Private consultations are available to discuss your relationships issues, or to ask questions about your type and its compatibility with other types.
The accuracy and usefulness of these Relationship Combinations pages are made possible by The Insight Approach of Don Riso and Russ Hudson. For the only in-depth Training Program that covers all elements of the complete Enneagram system, consider coming to the Enneagram Institute Training Program.
Copyright Notice: All the relationship combination materials given here, including those that have previously been published on this website are copyrighted for the current year by The Enneagram Institute, and are not available for commercial use or publication by others. See our Guidelines for use of Riso-Hudson materials.
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