Enneagram Type Five (the Investigator)
Enneagram Type Seven (the Enthusiast)
What Each Type Brings to the Relationship
Since they are both thinking types, Enneagram Fives and Sevens both bring a lot of mental energy and appreciation for ideas to their relationship. Their approach is complementary and reciprocal—each one brings something that the other does not have. On the positive side, Fives bring depth, clarity of observation, insight into the objective state of affairs, independence and self-reliance, and often a wonderfully, off-beat, whimsical sense of humor. It almost goes without saying that they have quick minds and love knowledge and intellectual pursuits. Sevens bring quickness not only of mind but of spirit—ready to do almost anything at a moment's notice, from going to a movie to booking an around the world trip, from moving the furniture across the room to moving the home to another state. Sevens are independent, although they like to have a few people around to join in the fun and to add to the celebratory, happy feeling that they are always looking for in their lives. They tend to be generous and extravagant, optimistic, gregarious, and outgoing with strangers, often the life of the party.
Fives tend to be somewhat more frugal with money and resources, seldom spending much on themselves (unlike Sevens). Fives also tend to be private and taciturn around strangers, although they can be very funny once they get to know you and feel secure. Fives ground and deepen Sevens, giving them permission to take themselves and their interests more seriously, to focus their energies, and to stay with things until they pay off. Sevens get Fives to try new experiences and to make more social contacts. They may also run interference for Fives in social settings. Both like conversation and ideas and they love to explore new realms together. In short, this is a mixture of opposites with different attitudes about how to enjoy themselves and how to be fulfilled in the world. Fives say: "Life is short: don't expect too much." Sevens say: "Life is short: try it all." Both attitudes are true and can usefully balance the other.
Potential Trouble Spots or Issues
Fives tend to minimize their needs and their expectations of life, particularly whenever they are under more stress. They tend to see things in terms of scarcity and of being personally unprepared to meet the demands of the world. The result is that as pressures on them increase, Fives tend to withdraw and detach emotionally from everyone around them, and ultimately, even from themselves. They become more reclusive, isolated, disembodied minds who are difficult to break through to, much less to engage in constructive action. This pattern is very difficult on Sevens for whom quick action and having multiple escape routes is the norm. As pressures increase on them, Sevens go into hyper-drive, going more places, doing more things, talking more, getting more advice, gossiping about their relationship problems, and possibly turning to substance abuse to control their mounting anxiety and sadness. These problems only make Fives withdraw further and become frightened of someone who they see as out of control.
In the lower Levels, Fives can see Sevens as too escapist, superficial, intrusive, and coarse. The Seven wants the Five to be more fun so that their experience will be more positive. Sevens embarrass Fives by being too effusive and glib. On the other hand, Sevens think Fives are cold and unresponsive. Conflicts with each other's style make both dig in their heels: Sevens become more demanding and pushy, whereas Fives become more withdrawn and uncooperative. Sevens may act out to get the Five's attention, but they may go too far causing Fives to close the door. A lack of trust and difficulty in finding a safe common ground to work out differences makes things worse as both types tend to take extreme, well-defended positions.