Type Seven and Nine is a common relationship combination on the Enneagram. While their energy often draws them in different directions, they can complement each other's blind spots well. The Nine helps to ground the Seven’s exuberant energy and demonstrates how to focus on a single area and see it through. The Seven helps to energize the Nine and shift them out of their routines to try new things, and encourages them to stop activities that no longer serve them. 

Let’s explore this combination's goals, strengths, challenges and the gifts they can give each other.  Understanding your strengths as a couple can bring you closer together and help you navigate misunderstandings and conflict.  

Relationship goals of Type 7 and Type 9

Enneagram Sevens and Nines can have a lot of fun in a relationship together. Sevens are looking for a friend, partner or sibling they can convince to join them in their adventures. Nines need people in their life who will really listen to them, and make them feel heard and that their perspective is important. Nines want to feel included – in activities, conversations and holiday adventures. 

Both types tend to be very friendly. They enjoy socializing and visiting stimulating people or places (although for very different reasons). When these types have activities they enjoy in common, this helps them form a solid foundation for friendship and partnership. 

Shared strengths and the problems they create 

  1. Positivity 

Both Sevens and Nines tend to approach life with a positive attitude. That optimism helps them see the best in others, cultivate a diverse range of interests, and be resilient to challenges outside of the relationship.  

However, their equally sunny dispositions can make it hard for them to look at conflict or tension within the relationship. Instead of noticing the disconnection, the Seven gets busier, seeking out new people, places and things while feeling more and more empty. And Nines find ways to numb themselves by withdrawing into their routine activities more deeply.  

Both are so practiced at ignoring uncomfortable emotions, they believe the conflict will resolve itself if they just stay positive – especially if they focus on creating an exciting future for the couple (Seven) or focusing on what they agree on (Nine).

While both types are conflict avoidant, the Seven is more likely to raise the issue if they feel it's necessary. But by then, both types may have avoided the issue for so long they have forgotten what it's really about. Given their mutual inability to probe their feelings to understand what’s really going on, they can struggle to communicate what started the disconnect in the first place.   

  1. Anything is possible 

Both types can take an extremely large view of the world and all the wonders it contains. Sevens constantly see the world through the lens of future possibilities and all the couple could do together. Nines are big-picture thinkers and tend to see all points of views and perspectives. That means they can both appreciate diversity and having a wide range of interests and friends, and they both can see that truly anything is possible.

On the downside, both Sevens and Nines can take a long time to finalize a decision, to the frustration of both types. Sevens will share many ideas, all exciting, and  secretly hope the Nine will choose which one to prioritize. But Nines are just as overwhelmed by the options. So, decisions are left to languish. That’s especially true if the Seven struggles to focus on the one thing they want to do or fears sharing it with the Nine for fear of conflict, and the Nine needs help to identify what they want, which can be hard if they are worried about disappointing someone. 

This pattern of not making decisions frustrates both the Seven and Nine. They often will become disappointed about the lack of action and excitement in the relationship. 

  1. Going with the flow 

Both Sevens and Nines like to go with the flow, but for very different reasons. Sevens, focused on their own agenda, like to stick to their exciting future plans or flow with whatever feels most freeing or constraint-free in the moment. Nines, by contrast, are focused on other people’s agendas. They often get caught up in the moment forgetting their own priorities or plans.

This works well enough when the Nine is keen to try new things and go along with the Seven’s agenda. But when they aren’t so keen, the Seven/Nine pair can develop separate interests, not noticing they are disconnecting from each other until an outside force wakes both of them to the situation. 

Attributes to appreciate in the 7/9 pairing

While the Seven and Nine have a lot in common, there are some things they lack individually that the other brings to the table. 

Sevens can appreciate the Nine’s caring support, steadfastness, patience, adaptability, relaxed pace, focus on understanding the needs of other people, and their focus on physical comfort.

Nines can appreciate the Seven’s love of adventure, good ideas, idealism, mental acuity, enthusiasm and fast pace. 

Gifts they can give to each other 

To help the relationship find its equilibrium, it can help to build the following skills inside the relationship.

  1. Listening

Nines appreciate being heard. To them, quality time is someone listening to their story without interruption, which includes not looking at your phone!

Sevens appreciate someone listening to all their ideas and hearing them just as ideas, not worrying about implementing them. Instead of asking about the practicalities of those ideas, say “that sounds exciting, would you like my help prioritizing what to focus on next?”

  1. Exercising together 

Sevens and Nines are able to communicate more effectively after exercise. For Sevens, walking or cycling or other activities that use their legs, helps them get out of their heads and get more in touch with their feelings and instincts. It helps them focus their energy and attention more.

For Nines, exercise can bring their focus inwards onto their own agenda. Exercise they do by themselves is especially helpful, such as running, cycling, boxing and swimming.

Plan to exercise together or alone, and catch up afterwards to discuss your priorities and plans for the week, as well as what worked in your relationship this week. 

  1. Making time for feelings

Neither Sevens or Nines are overly in touch with their feelings. This makes it hard to talk about them when things are going well, let alone when they are not! Both types will benefit from regularly tapping into and sharing their feelings, especially when things are going well. This will provide the pair a solid foundation to lean on when things aren't smooth sailing.

Scheduling regular meetings to sort through miscommunications and discuss grievances can help both types air issues before they fester for too long. Both types will think these meetings are silly at first. They probably will wonder what they are supposed to talk about or why they would air their dirty laundry. Instead, think of it as skill building in an area that is a blindspot for both of you. Not silly, but necessary to build trusted long-term relationships and friendships.

Next steps

To learn more about the deeper motivations of types Seven and Nine, watch these video overviews - Seven and Nine.  Then share this article with your friend or partner. Use it as a basis to discuss the communication patterns you default to, how you manage unspoken frustrations, and what relationship-strengthening approaches you want to adopt going forward. Exploring your relationship through the lens of the Enneagram can help you come out stronger as a result.

Samantha Mackay

Samantha Mackay is a certified Enneagram and leadership development coach who believes work should be energizing, not draining. She combines the Enneagram with her experience of recovering from burnout twice to help leaders and teams thrive during stressful times. Connect with Samantha at www.samanthamackay.com