What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?
Valentine’s Day traces its origins back to ancient Rome. Its namesake, Saint Valentine, is a mysterious figure associated with acts of love and compassion. During the Middle Ages, it became associated with romantic love through the works of Chaucer and Shakespeare. By the 18th century, exchanging handwritten notes and tokens of affection became a popular tradition. Today, commercialisation has popularised the exchange of mass produced gifts, along with big romantic displays.
While Valentine’s Day is often celebrated as a day for expressing love and affection, it is also for many, a day filled with stress and high expectations. For us, we would like to use this occasion to explore the complexities of human relationships through the lens of the Enneagram.
Each Enneagram type approaches love and relationships uniquely, reflecting their core motivations and fears. For example, Type 2, “The Giver,” thrives on nurturing and caring for others, making Valentine’s Day a natural opportunity to express their love through acts of service and thoughtfulness. Type 4, “The Individualist,” may approach Valentine’s Day with a heightened sensitivity, seeking deep connections and meaningful gestures to feel truly loved and understood.
On the other hand, Type Eight, “The Challenger,” might embrace Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to demonstrate their loyalty and protectiveness towards their loved ones. Type 7s may show their affection by bringing joy and fun to others through their light-heartedness, openness and spontaneity. The other five types bring their own brand of love and affection. Rather than just calling the Type 2s the Loving person, all types can express their love in different ways. Perhaps other types don’t focus on others as much as the 2s do.
Understanding how different Enneagram types approach love can deepen our understanding for our partner’s love language and enhance our relationships. Whether celebrating with grand gestures or quiet moments of intimacy, Saint Valentine’s Day serves as a reminder to honour and cherish the unique qualities that make each Enneagram type special.
Article contributed by Dr Granville D’Souza and Alicia Ng