Whether you’re dating, crushing on, or just dreaming of an Enneagram Eight, there's an important thing you need to know about this personality type. 

Eights are tough to figure out.

Unlike other Enneagram types, your Eight date won’t be overly affectionate and doting (but don’t take this as a sign that they don’t like you). They won't pull their punches or sugarcoat the conversation (but don't take this as a sign they're being mean). And they definitely won’t be concerned about arguing over opinions they don't agree with (but don't take this as a sign that they're not interested in what you have to say).

The truth is, Enneagram Eights need a lot of emotional space and respect for their independence, but they also move mountains for people they care about. If you want to win their heart (and keep it), here are 10 things to know. 

#1: They know exactly what they want

Enneagram Eights are body types which means they’re ruled by their gut instincts. They respond to people based on their physical reaction to them and make sense of the world based on their body’s response to what’s happening. 

When it comes to dating, that can be a pretty powerful force. Eights usually make up their minds quickly, deciding whether they like – and even love – someone instinctively, even within a matter of days. If you’re dating an Enneagram Eight, you might find they get more invested in the relationship more quickly than you because they’re confident about what they want and they’re not afraid to show it.

#2: They’re fiercely loyal 

If you win the heart of an Enneagram Eight, you’ll get a fiercely loyal and loving partner in return. Eights are extremely protective of the people they love and they take commitment seriously. An Enneagram Eight in love will go to the ends of the earth for you and beyond. Be prepared for them to fall hard and commit.

#3: They like their independence

While Eights are caring and loyal, they also value their independence. Eights want to feel that they’re always in control and that means being self-reliant and self-sufficient in all aspects of their lives. Eights will rarely ask for help and will be careful not to appear vulnerable or needy in front of you, even in long-term partnerships. No matter how well you get to know your Eight, this aspect of their personality type is unlikely to change.

#4: They’re confident and self-assured

One of the most obvious things you’ll notice when you’re dating an Enneagram Eight is their confidence. All Eights have an ego, even if they don’t like to admit it. Their self-assured and assertive personality means they usually come across as extremely confident, bordering on arrogance. This is the side of the Eights that you can either learn to love or learn to tolerate but either way, it’s not going away!

#5: They tell it like it is

Eights are known for being straight-talking. They speak their minds and will usually tell you their opinion honestly and openly. This Enneagram type isn’t shy about confrontation and they will happily enter into a debate on why they think the way they do, especially if it’s on a topic they’re passionate about. Be prepared for them to tell it like it is in all aspects of your relationship and don’t expect them to back down from conflict.

#6: But they can be a little too honest…

When you’re dating an Enneagram Eight, their honesty can sometimes cause problems. Want to know if that jacket suits you? An Enneagram Eight will give you an honest answer, with no hesitation. For some people Eights’ honesty can be a little too much to handle, for others it might just be the thing they love most about their partner.

#7: They’re always on the go

Goal-oriented and ambitious, Eights are always on the go. They’re constantly focused on the next big target and they like to keep themselves busy with new ideas, objectives, and angles that they’re working on. 

If you’re dating an Eight, you’ll have to be prepared for their constant scheming. Eights are always working on some elaborate plan and they approach challenges with a directness and energy that can be both exciting and exhausting. If that sounds fun to you then you’ll get on just fine, but if you’re looking for a quieter life then an Eight might not be the right match.

#8: Sometimes you have to deal with stubbornness

Eights are strong and determined leaders who will often take control in any group setting. While this can be a positive personality trait, their natural instinct to take charge can also lead to stubbornness and a belief that their way is the right way. 

It’s very hard to get an Eight to change their mind, especially when it comes to things that are important to them. They pride themselves on their principles and have a strong sense of right and wrong that guides them through every decision.

#9: They’re secretly scared of getting hurt 

For many Eights, falling in love is an intense and all-consuming process – but they don’t do it lightly. For an Eight to willingly give up control and let themselves fall in love, they have to find the right person and trust them completely.

When it comes to dating, this can manifest as someone who wants to maintain strict boundaries when you’re first getting to know them, who doesn’t show affection easily, and who immediately draws away if they feel like their feelings aren’t being reciprocated.

At their core, Eights are scared of being powerless more than anything else. Underneath the strength, self-assuredness and charisma of the Enneagram Eight personality type, they are most afraid of being vulnerable and this is especially true when it comes to their relationships. Though Eights might seem unshakeable, they are secretly terrified of getting hurt so tread carefully. They may be doing some inner work and learning to trust you in readiness for deepening your relationship.

#10: They love deeply and passionately

If you’re dating an Enneagram Eight, you should know in advance that they love deeply and passionately. Eights make their loved ones the center of their world and they will do anything to protect you, keep you safe, and make sure you’re cared for. This personality type is intensely loving. Once you break through the tough barrier of independence and self-reliance, you’ll find a partner who is generous, affectionate and hopelessly romantic.

Elizabeth Harris
Elizabeth is a freelance writer and ghostwriter. She’s an anthropologist at heart and loves using social theory to get deeper into the topics she writes about. Born in the UK, Elizabeth has lived in Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Dubai before moving most recently to Budapest, Hungary. She’s an ENTJ with ENFJ leanings. Find out more about her work at bethharris.com