"The enneagram is a tool that helps us awaken both self-compassion and our compassion for others. When we learn self-compassion and allow our hearts to expand, we can stop trying to change people and simply love them for who they are." - Ian Cron
Enneagram Date Night was created on accident. I wouldn't shut up about it, so my best friend took the test, then told her partner to take it. Coincidentally, they had a fancy dinner reservation made and decided to talk about their test results over dinner. Imagine, less "how was your day? how were the kids?" chit chat - more "what are your inner fears and desires? Where are the weak spots in our relationship? How can we improve our communication?"
When SIP began, I decided to start weekly conversation starters for couples on my Instagram. Some fun and light hearted, some reflective of current events, and some that dug a little deeper into the relationship. I also put together the framework for an Enneagram Date Night - as much fun as my friends had on their night out, I figured this would be a great idea for a date night IN! Here we go:
You and your partner take the Enneagram test to find your number.
If you already know, you can skip to STEP TWO.
There are plenty of free tests you can take online, they should take about 5-10 minutes.
Here are a few:
Now that you know your number(s), find out what that means as a couple.
I've put together 2 lists for each type:
What your number wants from love.
How to love each number.
HOW TO LOVE A ONE:
When relating to Ones, remind them that they are innately good. Because Ones see flaws everywhere, it’s necessary to help them shift their thinking, to give them an abundance of kindness as they learn to silence their inner critics.
Ones are also tidy characters, so they appreciate when you respect and honor their need for order and cleanliness. More than anything, be incredibly gentle with Ones when delivering criticism, and don’t take their nitpicking personally. On the hard days, remember—however critical Ones are towards you, they are that much harder on themselves. source: thegoodtrade.com
HOW TO LOVE A TWO:
The best way to love a Two is to help them love themselves. Remind them that they are not a bottomless well and that their identity isn't wrapped up in who or what they care for. Don’t just tell a Two to stop and care for themselves, though—help pave that path for them.
Twos are also verbal processors, so being an excellent listener while engaging them in conversation is essential for a healthy relationship. Because they fear the expression of their needs and wants, Twos needs people to fight for them, and to remind them, “I'm not going anywhere.”
HOW TO LOVE A THREE:
The Threes in your life feel an urge to create a facade they believe you’ll love. They do this because they don’t think they are valuable as they are, and thus they resort to performance. This is why it’s essential to discourage shapeshifting in your relationships with Threes. You can do this by acknowledging their successes, but not attributing these achievements to their worth. Vocalize your love for them and discourage constructed personas.
Moreover, take note that Threes are future-oriented and can seem distracted in conversations—don’t take this personally. They don’t like dwelling on the past or diving too deep into feelings, despite being in the feeling triad on the Enneagram. Give them their space to work hard (they’re really good at it!) while also encouraging them to practice healthy boundaries. source: thegoodtrade.com
HOW TO LOVE A FOUR:
Having a relationship with a Four can be overwhelming if you’re not ready for the complexity of their emotions, but sticking with them is so worth it. Fours offer profound connection and gift other Enneagram numbers a safe space to engage with hard feelings. They know how to hold joy and despair in the same hand. Fours know how to experience all of the emotions, and they prefer it this way. You don’t need to match their mood, just be true to who you are. Few things more meaningful to Fours than authenticity.
Also, Fours prefer one-on-one conversations to group gatherings, and they need to be told that they are understood. In discussions, be intentional to listen and remind them that their seen and known. source: thegoodtrade.com
HOW TO LOVE A FIVE:
In relationships, Fives need space to process. They need time to translate their feelings into thoughts before responding, and they desire conflict to be minimal and straightforward. Moreover, they need a gentle push to engage with their emotions. Fives will often revert to thinking, so keep nudging them, and remind them that their vulnerability is a gift, not a burden.
Additionally, Fives like to keep a small circle of friends. This is because they have limited energy and need to spend it on those they are closest with. Fives can be sarcastic, and they are comfortable with stimulating routines and life rhythms (although they dread repetition). Foster a healthy relationship by respecting and nurturing these traits. source: thegoodtrade.com
HOW TO LOVE A SIX:
It would be a mistake to tell Sixes that they don’t need to worry. This is a truth they must discover themselves, and they don’t need others to belittle their fears. Instead, remind Sixes of your commitment and encourage them to trust their own experiences.
Sixes are not insecure but calculated, and sometimes they struggle to see the best in others. Foster loyalty by avoiding too much spontaneity and respect their need for routine. It’s useful to remember that Sixes struggle to vocalize their thoughts in real-time (they need space to evaluate their feelings), so don’t write them off as indecisive. They just need time to think through their decisions. source: thegoodtrade.com
HOW TO LOVE A SEVEN:
Just like Sevens can teach other numbers how to play, other numbers can show Sevens how to make room for holding negative emotions. By nature, Sevens believe they are simple creatures with few feelings (this isn’t true). Showing a Seven that all humans are complicated with a vast array of feelings is one of the best gifts you can offer them.
Because Sevens are naturals at repressing emotions, it’s essential to be aware that their pain can manifest itself as anger or shame. Furthermore, as energetic and driven people, they need a lot of alone time to balance out their time spent with others. Sevens don’t do well with codependence and can feel trapped by the needs and expectations of others. Having your own hobbies and activities is necessary for a healthy relationship. source: thegoodtrade.com
HOW TO LOVE AN EIGHT:
Eights need to be met on their level. They value honesty and straightforward communication (don’t beat around the bush). Remember that their aggression is not personal—more than likely, they’re not thinking about you but instead trying to protect themselves and control their environment.
To have a healthy relationship with an Eight, be direct, and stay true to who you are. While you can’t force an Eight to be vulnerable, you can create a safe space for expression. Earn the respect of an Eight, and you may find yourself in an incredibly deep and stimulating relationship. If not, though, don’t worry. Eights are guarded with their emotions and only have room for a small circle of intimate relationships in their lives, and that’s okay! If you aren’t in this circle, it doesn’t mean they don’t like you; instead, they have maxed out their current capacity for emotional connections. source: thegoodtrade.com
HOW TO LOVE A NINE:
When relating to Nines, there are a few things to remember. First, include them in your decision-making processes. Because they will naturally gravitate away from voicing their opinions, encourage them by presenting multiple-choice questions rather than open-ended ones (as these can be overwhelming). For example, ask, “Would you like to go here or here?” rather than, “Where do you want to go for dinner?” Nines also need affirmation when they are honest, so celebrate the moments they do speak up for themselves.
Second, learn to recognize a Nine’s passive-aggressive nature. They don’t explode with built-up rage like Eights. Instead, they bury it inside and let it out in nonverbal and indirect ways. Help to foster positive expression by cultivating peaceful environments and giving Nines time to process. Understand that they will not be as direct in conversations but will eventually share their sufferings with you once they feel safe. When they do try to bury their emotions and pretend like everything is fine (this is instinctive), gently remind them that naming their hurts will lead to health, healing, and profound connection with others. source: thegoodtrade.com
Follow up questions:
Anything you agree/disagree with?
One new thing you learned about yourself/your partner?
Any "aha" moments?
What is the one thing you can do to better support your partner in regards to their enneagram? and vise versa.
What can you do differently as a couple?
Disclosure: This is meant to be fun/helpful (I hope it was!)
I'm not a doctor, just a TWO doing what we do best - help!
“Understanding is love’s other name.
If you don’t understand, you can’t love.” -Thich Nhat Hanh