Ah, the ever-elusive L word. It’s funny how much people crave for love but how hard it is to obtain it. Sometimes it feels like there’s a magic kit somewhere you’re meant to find, but no matter how hard you try to grab on to it, it feels like it’s always slipping out of your grasp.
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
Yes, we know you’re rolling your eyes, but there is some truth in it. Clashing personalities aren’t new in the dating realm; when you can’t get along with somebody, you can’t. It’s as simple as that. But sometimes, looking into ourselves when relationships fail is a good way to evaluate ourselves and who we want to be with.
How does Enneagram help?
Enneagram is an ancient Greek personality framework that categorizes personality in nine categories. Each type has its own quirks, strengths, and weaknesses. It determines how you think and feel, as well as how you behave in “autopilot” mode where your instincts take over. It also tells you what your coping mechanism is, which is really helpful when you’re stuck in a loop of bad coping mechanisms.
Growth is scary because it makes you confront who you are on the inside. A side effect of this is that you’d inevitably compare yourself with other types. It’s important to remember that comparing types happen because of the perception you have towards other types. Don’t do this to yourself. In Enneagram, no type is inherently better than the other. It’s all about how you learn about yourself and harness your strengths to become the best version of yourself that you can be.
In this article, we’re going to talk about why is it difficult for your Enneagram type to find love as well as how to fix it.
Type One (Perfectionist): You’re too harsh on yourself and other people
They are men (or women) of principles. Their strong moral values and principles make them someone that other people look up to. They see the potential in people and they want their partners to be the best person they could be. However, more often than not, Ones express this in a way that makes the other person feel like they have to perform better to earn Ones’ respect. When they don’t, Ones tend to get angry. Even if we put that aside, their inner self-critic would have gotten angry at themselves for expecting something unrealistic anyway. As you can see, we’re in quite a dilemma here.
How to fix it: Take a deep breath sometimes. You’re a great person with great morals, but sometimes, you need to loosen up and breathe a little. It’s okay; you don’t have to be perfectly normal all the time. And cut your partner some slack. They deserve some downtime too.
Type Two (Caregiver): You’re over-accommodating
Compromise is always great in a relationship. But for Twos, they can become over-accommodating and over-involved in another person’s life. They are also quick to offer resources and bend over backwards to help a person. Because of this tendency, they tend to fall in love with someone who needs help.
The big question they should ask themselves is if they fell in love with their partner because they needed help or genuinely because of their qualities? Twos tend to seek validation and self-worth from being able to be of service. Some people spot this easily and would gladly take advantage of their goodwill. That’s why Twos are often victims in unhealthy relationships where they constantly feel like they’re giving but not receiving.
How to fix this: Harsh as it may be, you’re being treated so poorly because you allow yourself to be treated this way. It’s instinctual for Twos to gain self-worth through sacrificing acts of love, but you have to override that instinct by setting boundaries. Boundaries help keep the relationship and your mental/ physical wellbeing healthy. If someone starts distancing themselves from you because you set boundaries, they aren’t worth being with in the first place.
Type Three (Medallist): You go for the trophies and not you want
Medallists are classic over-achievers. For them, a lot of things in their lives are tasks. Once you finish the task, you’re a step closer to your goal. Because relationships are a task in their minds, they tend to go for trophy partners and superficial achievements. This is how you know that you’ve succeeded, right?
How to fix this: Bypassing all the fancy cars and model girlfriends, what do you really want? Threes struggle with losing themselves in the path of greatness. You’re so consumed with the expectations of others that it’s easy to just forget what you truly want in the first place. That’s also why you go through people and partners but you don’t really feel fulfilled by it. You’ve got to figure out what you want and work from there.
Type Four (Artist): You want what you can’t get
In a way, Fours are go-getters. They understand what they want, and they do their hardest to get it. But often, they realize that what they want isn’t as good as what they thought. So they pull back and try to figure it out. After a while, they realize that they miss it and they push for it again. Many Fours report a sense of loss in themselves, even though they can’t put their finger on it. This might also be a reason why Fours can’t get into lasting relationships: as soon as they realize that they can’t fill the void in themselves with the person, they give up for a bit until they miss it.
How to fix this: Fours need a lot of space to go through their emotions, but not necessarily by themselves though. Although you want to connect with other people through your emotions, not everyone can handle your emotional intensity. For Fours to get into a lasting relationship, you have to learn how to master your emotions without relying on your significant other too much.
Type Five (Detective): You’re in your head too much
Fives are head types. They enjoy consuming information, consolidating information, and even writing an encyclopedia in their heads. To learn about dating, Fives typically start by gathering knowledge about dating. But for some Fives, that’s all there is. Deep down, Fives don’t think that they are capable of in the real world where emotions often trump rational thought. Staying in the safety of their own minds where logic reigns appeals much more to them because they don’t have to deal with the messy emotional side of people. As a result, Fives usually avoid talking about feelings and emotions.
How to fix it: Fives’ aversion to risk and emotions are huge liabilities for you in the dating world. Dating is emotional and messy at times, so for Five to truly excel in this, you have to first access your own emotions. Fives can come across as cold and hardened sometimes., To fix this, you have to show some emotional vulnerability through self-disclosure or just talking about feelings.
Type Six (Strategist): You distrust people too much
Despite being the most loyal types in Enneagram, Sixes don’t operate in blind faith. They are happy being followers, but only if the leader is worthy. To earn the love of Sixes, people must first earn their trust, which is the most difficult part of the whole process. Sixes are skeptical people and would question you in all kinds of situation. Especially in the beginning stages of dating, many potential partners find it difficult to get along with Sixes. This is because Sixes often overthink and overanalyze to save themselves from getting hurt.
How to fix it: The most obvious issue for Sixes is trust. In order to be in a healthy relationship, both partners must first trust each other. As a Six, you must learn to trust yourself. A lot of the distrust from Sixes is a projection of your inner fear: that you can’t survive in the world without a capable person leading them. If you can increase you own self-worth as a Six instead of relying on another person, you’d find it so much easier to trust and date.
Type Seven (Explorer): You want to keep your options open
Sevens are the Enneagram type of party animals. They are energetic, enthusiastic, extroverted and fun to be around. The downside to this is that they are used to having a lot of options to choose from; be it parties or fun things to do. This conditions them to not lock themselves in a corner where they have to commit to a plan (or a person in this case). Sevens also have problems following through with their plans because it always seems like there’s something more interesting around the corner. Unless they feel like committing to a person is the best option they have, they’d choose not to commit to anything.
How to fix it: Having so many options in life can sometimes distract Sevens from what they really want. In their pursuit of enjoyment, they often forget what they are really running towards. For Sevens to find love, they have to define what love is to them and not get side-tracked by the different temptations in the world that go against what they want.
Type Eight (Fighter): Your hard exterior scares some people
Type Eight is an assertive and powerful type. They typically come across as confident and self-assured, or in worst case scenarios, aggressive. Eights don’t shy away from challenges. In fact, they’d face it head on, which is not the best thing to do when finding love is your objective. Underneath Eights’ tough exterior, is their aversion to emotional pain. Eights protect themselves so readily, that as soon as something seems off, they mask their vulnerability with their tough and confident façade. They prefer keeping people at arm’s length since they believe that people will inevitably exploit their vulnerabilities if they let anyone in.
How to fix it: Until Eights learn to open up and let someone into their heart, you’re going to face a lot of dating issues. You need to understand that it’s okay to be vulnerable sometimes, and that vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. Eights might also need to fight against your instinct to hide behind your powerful façade – that’s keeping you from connecting with other people.
Type Nine (Diplomat): You’re too easy-going
Nines can be easy-going to the point of sleepwalking in life. It’s not that they don’t have opinions of their own, but they could find it difficult to assert themselves when they need to. So, to avoid feeling like they’re different, they take on the opinion of others and go along with everything they’ve been told. In an attempt to feel harmony and connection, Nines inadvertently strip themselves of their individuality and just going with the flow. This makes dating extremely hard for them since it’s hard to dislike them, but it’s also hard to love them because of their lack of distinction from other people. This is especially true for Nine men, where strong ambition and assertiveness are both qualities that attract women. Nines are also prone to entering relationships when it doesn’t feel right to them, simply because they don’t like to deal with conflict.
How to fix it: Nines are prone to complacency, so you have to make the conscious decision to wake up from your nap and walk with a sense of purpose through life. Conflict is understandably hard for Nines, but you have to figure a way out to deal with it healthily, instead of just numbing out and shutting off your brain.
All in all
Being aware of how your personality presents itself is a good place to start looking at why you’re having dating issues. Some of the dating problems that were listed here are deeper psychological quirks that impact their social life in general. Only by knowing and mastering yourself can you truly improve your quality of connection with other people.
Have you noticed these patterns in your own dating life? Tell us more in the comments below.