The Incurable Romantic

Reflections of an Enneagram Four / Projector

Introduction to the Incurable Romantic

Oh dear, an apology

First of all I have to apologize for any language errors. I am a Dutch native and although I travel a lot through English speaking countries and read most books in English, I might make use of some ‘Dunglish’ now and again. The English language uses fewer words than Dutch to say the same thing. Since the languages are so closely related, the Dutch tend to make shortcuts that sound very logical to them, but are in fact incorrect. Sorry about that, I will do my best to keep these errors in check!

So what’s this blog about?

No, it’s not about the optical device that projects a (moving) image onto a surface. By Projector I mean Projector as in the Human Design type. What does that have to do with being an Enneagram Four?  In my case everything (I am both) because I’ve encountered many similarities between the two. And while studying the types, I discovered my growing resentment towards both of them.

I am curious about your experiences as a Four or as a Projector (maybe to verify that I am not a basket case after all?) and I hope you will share your experiences here.

Who am I?

I am a female, born and still living in The Netherlands and:

  • INFP (Myers-Briggs)
  • Enneagram Four/w5
  • Human Design Projector 5/1
  • Taurus with a Gemini ascendant and a
  • Snake (wood year) according to Chinese Astrology.

I may have a few more ‘badges’ according to other tests, but this sums it up quite nicely. So, pretty much downright hopeless, wouldn’t you say?

So what will I be writing about?

Resentment? No, that would be so un-romantic! Fours are romantics and they love to look at the world as a beautiful place, love to make it more beautiful and yearn for it to be more beautiful.

Yes, we come from La-La land…or… that is how the description in the original Enneagram bible made me feel (and a few other books too). The more I read about my type, the more depressed I became.

The descriptions made me feel that there is no place for Romantics in this world. Instead we need to succeed, be logical, work hard and come up with realistic strategies to reach realistic goals. Yes, we can dream, we are even encouraged to follow our dream and then produce strategies to start living that dream. Isn’t that what Romantics would love? Uhm…yeah…sort of…but… no?

Fours (and Projectors) are often type casted as dreamers, airheads, freeloaders, being lazy, melancholic, not living in reality, not pulling their weight, not coming up with strategic plans etc.

And that is exactly what I like to talk about in this blog. No, I will not complain about how hard it is for us poor souls (okay, maybe just a teeny bit), but I will be expanding on the matter and hope to exchange ideas about how we can be our authentic selves to the fullest and help make the world more beautiful while we’re at it 🙂

So, what’s your general experience as a Four or as a Projector?


Raven Bear

(of course, being a Romantic I’d like to use my totems as pseudonym)

Featured post

Medicine for the unhealthy Romantic

Thanks for writing so openly about the unhealthy enneagram 4, roseforaheart. Your story really helps me getting clear about my own unhealthy behavior.

For those who don’t know what that means for 4’s: it is the mental state in which bitterness takes over from the love of life. This usually is a gradual process, but sometimes 4’s hit rock bottom… and they hit it hard. (That’s the suicidal part.) We look at the world as if there is nothing left to live for anymore. Because everything seems loveless, ugly, negative, without feelings. And we ARE feelings. To the core of our cells.

Fortunately I have climbed out of darkness and are finally feeling good about life in general. Pretty weird, since I am only too aware of all that is wrong with the world. Enter the Romantic 4…

Us Romantics are in love with love. We like to feel special (as does the Human Design Projector) and we are constantly longing for that special love that will swipe us off our feet so we can live happily ever after. We love the highs and detest the lows. And therein lies the danger for 4’s. ‘But it’s not possible to always experience highs,’ I  hear you say. Correct. But my heart needs them. Desperately. I can only think of the good things I want for me or for the world (or for the people around me). And I want it so bad, that when I don’t get it, bitterness is on the horizon.

Although I fell into the bitterness trap many times, I now am convinced that promoting the good is what a 4 needs to do. We must not let the overly rational or negative world get to us. That doesn’t mean that we don’t need to acknowledge everything that is bad. I think 4’s need to accept that there is a bad world out there. But acceptance does not mean that we have to bury ourselves all alone in our caves and die of a broken heart. No! It is the other way around. We need to tell and show the world that feelings, love, connection, nature, art, music etc. are WORTH LIVING FOR. And with a vengeance I would say! 🙂

There are too few Romantics/Idealists speaking out for what they think is worth living for. And yes, because we let the negative get to us. Yes I can cry about the DAPL pipeline and all the people at Standing Rock, yes I get extremely angry about the new American president (which isn’t even mine!) , yes I cry about plastic soup in the oceans… and so on. BUT: there are people who are doing great things and a 4 needs to be one of those. A 4 needs to emphasize what is good and how the world can be a better place to live in, or how relationships can improve, or how daily life can improve. Spread good news, highlight the positive. BE THE ROMANTIC! OWN IT!

I know it isn’t easy, trust me I’ve been there. And it’s hard to listen to others who accuse us of living in La La Land. But you know, we are of this world. And there is a reason for that. We might not have been loved enough when we were young, we might have felt to be an outsider. At one point we might have concluded  that we were ‘un-loveable’ and therefore needed to stop living. But the opposite is true. We need to live because the world needs our feelings, our idealistic view, our dreams. As the Yang needs the Yin. We are needed!

Turn your personal Romantic 4 views of life into something. Work with other people’s feelings, support organizations that promote a better cleaner world, make a better world for others, for animals, make art, sing, dance, liven up the world! Make it more beautiful!

Because in the process of doing so, we will learn to love ourselves…. and you guessed it…. only then will we be truly loved. When we expose bitterness, we attract bitterness. When we dare to expose our authentic deeply loving nature, others will resonate with that.





The longing of the enneagram Four

It always makes me sad when I read expert opinions about Four’s and their perpetual longing. They state that we focus too much on what is missing in our lives or that which is unattainable and therefore keep longing for it indefinitely.

And it gets worse: ‘and when the seemingly unattainable is nevertheless reached, Fours start longing for something else they don’t have and lose interest in the ‘attained’.’

Well aren’t we a sad bunch!

Some experts even dare to suggest that Four’s should learn to let go of that behavior, because we will step into a downward spiral and risk severe depression (or eventually suicide)

Well if anything, I get depressed by this explanation of the Four. It sells us short.

I know that in Buddhist terms ‘desire causes suffering’. I can see how that is true but I also see why it isn’t. Don’t you need desire to get somewhere, to change your job, move house, leave a no good relationship? It is the desire and longing for an ideal situation that moves us forward.

We’re Romantics, people need us Fours to show them that life, love or a situation can be better, more beautiful and mP1060200 bew.jpgore intense. When there’s no desire, no longing, how can there be any evolution? Didn’t the swallow long to be faster so it could catch the fastest insects? Didn’t the bee desire to find a bigger flower with more pollen so it wouldn’t have to fly so much?

If we didn’t have desires we would still be hanging in trees eating bananas. I believe that it is the Four’s job to show others that there is an ideal situation that can be worked towards, never mind on which level that ideal is. And yes, it is our job to romanticize that ideal for others and encourage them to go in that direction.

Fours get pissed off when people accuse them of living in La-La land. Please don’t tell us to stop our longing or our romanticizing. It is what makes us tick. It is what we are good at. That’s why we’re here. The world needs us for this.

I am curious how other Fours handle their longing. Do leave a comment!


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