Enneagram Relationships – Types And Compatibility Theory

You and your partner's enneagram personality types can help you figure out how compatible you are.

Reviewed by Katharyn Engers, MA, LMFT Katharyn Engers Katharyn EngersMA, LMFT
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Asmita De MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA Sangita Goel MA

Enneagram or Enneagram of personality is an ancient system that defines different personality types. It was introduced by Oscar Ichazo, a Bolivian psycho-spiritual teacher during the 1950s. It has been widely promoted in spirituality and business management context initially, but later into personality traits. This personality trait theory has been one of the popular subjects in multiple books. It helps to understand your internal motivations, and how these influence how you interact with others. All types in the Enneagram system are driven by their distinct motivations, which leads them to have different priorities. This personality framework helps you understand how to cultivate healthy relationships, behavior, or motives of the other party. This article explores how to determine your Enneagram, which personality types go well, what exactly the compatibility is, and more about the Enneagram relationship. Scroll down to find more information.

Enneagram Types

Enneagram is a personality framework that helps understand a person’s motivations, struggles, fears, and dominant behaviors. Based on the evaluation, there are nine different personality types. Here is a quick low-down of them all:

A complete guide to enneagram types in relationships
Image: Shutterstock

Type 1: The Reformer

These are highly industrious, perfectionist, principled, and diligent individuals. They have a sense of mission that often helps them overcome difficulties and shine through rough days.


  • They hold on tightly to their principles.
  • For them, there is always room for improvement.
  • They are sincere and thoughtful towards relationships.


  • Reformers can be too critical and rigid in their thinking.
  • Their critical voice can also cause insecurity in the partner.
  • They can be judgmental and condescending at times.

Type 2: The Helper

They are generous people who love to put a lot of energy into relationships and in helping others. They go the extra mile to please people and care for them.


  • They are genuine and make sure their partner feels loved.
  • Type 2s are good listeners.
  • They are interested in things like love, family, and friendship.


  • They may become over-involved in others’ lives.
  • They can be possessive and needy.
  • Types 2s have a fear of worthlessness.
  • They often ignore their own needs.

Type 3: The Achiever

Achievers are known for their motivated and adaptable nature. They are success-oriented and rational. When they are at their best, achievers are excellent role models who can inspire others.


  • They are dedicated and sincere people.
  • They are successful and have great talents and capabilities.
  • They can adapt easily.


  • Type 3s’ dedication towards success can take their focus off from feelings.
  • They are overly concerned about their self-image.
  • They avoid deep emotional connections.

Type 4: The Individualist

The Individualist
Image: Shutterstock

Individualists are sensitive and expressive beings. Their emotional intelligence and honesty draws people towards them, but it can also make them moody and temperamental at times.


  • Type 4s are not afraid of emotions and have relationships with great depth.
  • They have a strong sense of identity.
  • They are creative and forward-thinking people.


  • Type 4s can be too self-absorbed at times.
  • They often feel unsure of their self-image and lack a clear and stable identity.
  • They can’t let go of the past.

Type 5: The Investigator

If there is anything that makes Type 5s different from others, it’s their innovative and curious self. From the cosmos to daily habits, they delve deeper into the workings of how things work.


  • They are alert, curious, and insightful.
  • They have a unique ability to store all the information in their head.
  • They are independent and have good boundaries.


  • Too much logic and practicality make them detached.
  • Their boundaries can sometimes become too strict and make it difficult to form emotional connections.
  • They are competent, and this can lead to arrogance at times.

Type 6: The Loyalist

Committed, reliable, and hardworking – Type 6s often have long-lasting relationships. They are the people who will not leave a sinking ship and hang on to their loved ones until the end.


  • They prioritize relationships that are trustworthy and steady.
  • They are extremely responsible and community-oriented.
  • Type 6s are aware of their anxieties and find ways to overcome them with confidence and support.


  • Their central fear is a failure of self-confidence.
  • Loyalists worry a lot.
  • They have a suspicious nature that can give them insecurity about their relationships.

Type 7: The Enthusiast

The Enthusiast
Image: Shutterstock

Type 7s are versatile, spontaneous, and optimistic people who constantly seek new experiences. This disposition can, however, make them scattered and distracted at times. At their best, they focus on their worthwhile goals to become satisfied and happy.


  • They are highly enthusiastic and approach life with a sense of adventure.
  • Type 7s are great at brainstorming and learn things quickly.
  • When in a committed relationship, they are very loyal and dedicated.


  • They easily get distracted and lose their focus.
  • They might run from relationships that make them feel too much too soon.
  • They don’t feel satisfied easily.

Tal Benisty, a blogger, recounts her experience of attending an Enneagram workshop where she realized that she was a Type 7. She writes that the type can change depending on the situation and experiences, “Being a 7, I stress towards the moralistic perfectionism of a Type 1, but I relax into the satisfying introversion of a Type 5 (i).”

Type 8: The Challenger

The Challenger
Image: Shutterstock

Challengers are powerful, dominating, and decisive people who can take control of things and improve them. At their best, Type 8s are inspiring, magnanimous, and passionate.


  • They are charismatic people who love to take on challenges and succeed in life.
  • They may be tough on the outside but are tender-hearted.
  • Challengers are outspoken and action-oriented.


  • They can be aggressive, domineering, and intimidating.
  • They have high egos to protect themselves from any hurt or pain.
  • Type 8s have trouble admitting their vulnerabilities.

Type 9: The Peacemaker

The peacemakers are known for their easy-going, trusting, and stable characteristics. They are also called the crown of the Enneagram as they are at the top of the Enneagram symbol.


  • They create a comfortable space for those around them.
  • They are agreeable and easy-going.
  • They avoid conflicts and tend to simplify things to minimize troubles.


  • Type 9s tend to run away from the tensions of life by numbing out.
  • They often forget to take care of themselves.
  • They don’t like stubborn people and disagreements.

Now that you have a fair idea about how different Enneagram types function, we believe you might want to know which Enneagram you represent. So, why wait? Jump to the next section.

How To Determine Your Enneagram

Below are some steps you can follow to determine your type and understand Enneagram relationships better:

  • Online Enneagram Test: There are plenty of paid and free Enneagram tests available online. They will contain a range of questions to evaluate your motivations, reactions to situations, fears, and strengths.
  • Read The Enneagram Descriptions: Once done with your test, read thoroughly about them. You can also refer to the descriptions written above.
  • The Extra Steps: If you are still unsure about your type, you can go deeper into the Enneagram theory and look at the triads or your Enneagram wings. For this, you will need to do extensive research. So, make sure you refer to books or the Enneagram Institute.

Once you have zeroed in on your personality type, the next step is to find the Enneagram types compatible with you. Keep scrolling to get an insight into the relationship pairings that work well according to the Enneagram type.

protip_icon Trivia
On taking an Enneagram test, you may be evaluated as a particular type, but also rank high on an adjacent number. This is called a “wing.” Meaning your dominant type is influenced by the adjacent type.

Which Types Go Well Together?

Here are some common Enneagram relationship pairings that can go well with each other:

  • Type 1 With Type 2 Or 7

The perfectionist and dedicated Type 1s (The Reformers) are often drawn to Type 2s (The Helpers) due to the latter’s caring nature. The adventurous and carefree nature of Type 7s (The Enthusiasts) goes well with the hardworking and steadfast Type 1s. Both of them also share an Enneagram line, making the relationship between Enneagram 1 and 7 complementary.

  • Type 2 With Type 3 Or 8

Type 2s (The Helpers) think about others so much that they forget about their own needs. This is where Type 3s (The Achievers) can empower them to take a stand. Type 2s also support Type 3s in their dreams and encourage them to succeed. Type 8s (The Challengers) empower Type 2s to be more confident, and in return, Type 2s help Type 8s to let go of their vulnerabilities.

  • Type 3 With Type 9

Type 3s’ (The Achievers) single-mindedness can find refuge in Type 9s’ (The Peacemakers) easy-going nature. Type 9s support Type 3s and accept them as they are. Type 3s ensure the happy-go-lucky Type 9s find respect and value in life.

  • Type 4 With Type 5 Or 9

Type 4s (The Individualists) are intense beings and are drawn to similar personalities like Type 5s (The Investigators) and Type 9s (The Peacemakers). While Enneagram 4 and 5 relationship relies on clear communication styles and stimulating connection, Enneagram 4 and 9 relationship is about passion and intensity Type 4s bring to Type 9s’ lives. Type 9s are non-judgmental and provide a safe space for Type 4s.

  • Type 5 With Type 1 Or 2

Type 5s (The Investigators) match well with Type 1s (The Reformers) as they are both driven and love the pursuit of information. On the other hand, Enneagram 5 relationship with Type 2s (The Helpers) is an example of opposites attract. The big-hearted Type 2s push Type 5s to engage more with people, while the latter teaches the former to be more independent and confident.

  • Type 6, 7, And 8 With Type 9

Those with Type 9s (The Peacemakers) should feel fortunate as they typically go well with all Enneagram types. They offer a calm and soothing space for Type 6s (The Loyalists) who can be quite anxious and suspicious. Enneagram 7 and 9 relationship is about balancing the upbeat energy of Type 7s (The Enthusiasts) with a mellow vibe of Type 9s. The confident Type 8s (The Challenger) can definitely enjoy the company of the calm Type 9s.

  • Type 9 With Type 1 Or 2

While Type 9s (The Peacemakers) pair well with most types, they especially gravitate towards Type 1s (The Reformers) and Type 2s (The Helper). In an Enneagram 9 and 1 relationship, Type 1s help make Type 9s more ambitious, and Type 9s calm the inner critic of Type 1s. Type 9s and Type 2s share a similar approach to life. Even their differences complement each other. While Type 9s value Type 2s dedication, Type 2s help Type 9s take an active role in life.

We hope the above list must have answered most of your questions regarding compatibility between two Enneagram types. For a deeper insight into how compatibility functions in this system, head to the next section.

What’s The Compatibility Theory?

The key to understanding how compatibility works between two Enneagram types is to be aware of your own personality traits and recognize the partner’s character attributes. Listed below is how the Enneagram system helps determine the affinity between two personality types:

  • Self-awareness

Enneagram compatibility is about knowing your own self. All Enneagram combinations can work well if the partners have a high level of self-awareness. Here are some basic guidelines to determine one’s Enneagram compatibility:

  • Two people who have a high level of self-awareness are better at relationships.
  • Two people with a lower level of self-awareness may continue the relationship but will have some troubles.
  • If one person has a high level of self-awareness and the other has a low level, they may end up confused and distressed.
  • Universality

This framework can also evaluate other forms of relationships, such as the Enneagram parent-child relationship. The system can also be used for team-building exercises.

  • Key To Understanding Personality

You can also use this framework to consider the strengths and weaknesses of Enneagram relationships and understand your partner better. It gives you a chance to work on personal growth and find more empathy with your partner.

  • Same-Type Pairings

According to the Enneagram Institute, it is possible that two same types feel attracted to each other due to similarities. But it can also lead to some issues. For instance, when two Type 2s come together, they can be supportive and nurturing, but since they are so committed to being helpers, they may find it difficult to accept the love from their partners. Thus, being aware of Enneagram types helps them embrace each other’s personalities and minimize conflicts.

  • Gender Basis

As the Enneagram system was introduced for a universal application, there is no masculine or feminine context for its types. However, since our society has stereotypes in various cultures, it can identify some characteristics as masculine or feminine. In short, gender can play a role in deciding which types are more compliant with one gender.

While we can’t determine exactly how each type behaves, here are some pointers that make sense based on the love language preference of the enneagram.

protip_icon Trivia
Multiple attempts are being made to use Enneagram as a tool in psychological therapy. Many researchers believe that it can be incorporated into modern psychology to bring major personality and relationship growth.

How Each Personality Approaches Romance

  • Type 1: They are diligent, and that shows in their relationships too. Type 1s hold on to their convictions and try to bring improvement in their relationship.
  • Type 2: They are very caring and nurturing, helping their partner feel comfortable and at ease. They take extra steps to make their partners feel loved and seen.
  • Type 3: The Achievers put their 100% into a relationship and inspire their partner that everything is possible.
  • Type 4: They have deep connections as they are not afraid of different feelings and emotions. Type 4s also have a unique ability to make their partner feel loved and cherished.
  • Type 5: The best part about Type 5s is that they listen to their partner and observe them closely to find ways to make them happy. They are also quite accepting and stay as a reliable force behind their partner.
  • Type 6: The Loyalists are amazing partners when it comes to building trust and emotional intimacy. Once you are with them, they will prioritize the relationship.
  • Type 7: They are often seen as flighty, but once Type 7s get into a relationship, they can be quite loyal and loving. Also, the adventure and thrill never end with them around you.
  • Type 8: The Challengers are tender-hearted and long for deep connections. They offer mutual trust and respect while keeping the love flame alive.
  • Type 9: They create a comfortable space for their partner and avoid disputes through quick conflict resolution.

Infographic: Ways To Unlock Your True Enneagram Type

Finding your Enneagram type is a personal journey that may take time. Taking an Enneagram test, reading descriptions, and researching the types can give you an idea of the way the system works. Check out the infographic below to find out the best ways to determine your Enneagram type!

ways to unlock your true enneagram type (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Enneagram is a personality framework that focuses on different personality types and helps understand an individual’s motivations, fears, struggles, and behaviors. Be it the reformer, the challenger, the individualist, or the peacemaker, each Enneagram type functions differently. That is why a deep understanding of them through an online Enneagram test can help determine your Enneagram relationship. Additionally, having a deep level of self-awareness, creating a comfortable space for communication, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your partner can help foster loving and deep connections.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can trauma change your Enneagram?

No. Enneagram numbers do not change. The Enneagram types also include childhood trauma to gauge how they may affect your personality. If you experience traumatic events in adulthood, that will not affect your Enneagram number, which reflects your core personality traits. However, you might be a ‘type hybrid’ where you have more than one dominant type and relate to more than one Enneagram type. In such cases, look for your stress/security points to gain further clarity on how these types might influence each other.

Can people of the same Enneagram type have a successful relationship?

Yes. However, because they share the same strengths and weaknesses, the relationship will require more self-awareness and effort.

Can the Enneagram help with communication in relationships?

Yes, it can help us understand each other’s motivations, fears, needs. Stronger understanding improves communication and helps create a stronger bond.

Can the Enneagram help with conflict resolution in relationships?

Yes. It helps us understand each other better, which allows us to gauge how each of us approaches conflict, what triggers them, and how they react when they feel upset or threatened.

How accurate is the Enneagram in predicting relationship compatibility?

This is a matter of debate. While some people swear by it and find it incredibly helpful, others are more skeptical of its accuracy and applicability.

What are some common challenges in Enneagram relationships?

Just like any other type of relationship, they have their own set of challenges. Each type has its own communication style, emotional capability, and needs that need understanding from the partner for a fulfilling relationship.

Key Takeaways

  • Oscar Ichazo, a Bolivian psycho-spiritual teacher, introduced Enneagram during the 1950s.
  • Enneagram is a personality framework that helps understand a person’s motivations, struggles, fears, and dominant behaviors.
  • All Enneagram combinations can work well if the partners have a high level of self-awareness.

This insightful video takes a deep dive into Type 5 relationships, offering valuable insights for personal growth and understanding in the Enneagram world. Watch now to find out more!

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Katharyn Engers is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with 4 years of experience. She earned her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Santa Barbara, in 2017 and is currently practicing in the state of Washington. She is passionate about empowering individuals who have, at one time or another, felt stripped of their power and are ready to reclaim...read full bio

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