What To Look For In A Partner, Based On Your Enneagram Type
The Enneagram is a personality-typing model that can help people identify their basic needs and motivations. Since self-awareness is essential when embarking on any new relationship, your type might also help you find a partner. But how do we find The One—or in the case of the Enneagram—The One through Nine?
We consulted Enneagram expert and author Hannah Paasch to figure out what qualities to look for in a significant other, based on your Enneagram type.
Ones: A Partner With Integrity
Type Ones, also called The Reformers, have high standards and strive to improve the world. Because of that strong moral compass, Ones are often drawn to people with integrity. "They want someone to be exactly who they say they are," Paasch said.
In healthy states, Ones have an incredible capacity to communicate expectations and live out their values. "They will need someone who will fall in love with that earnestness," she said. "Someone who is a safe and easy space for them to just be."
Twos: A Partner Who Mutually Gives & Receives
Type Twos, also called The Helpers, are generous and nurturing. Since they tend to sacrifice their own needs in order to meet the needs of others, mutuality is the key to a healthy partnership here.
"Too often, Twos are offering love rather than preparing to receive it," Paasch said. "They need to find someone who knows how to challenge them to receive."
Since they put so much energy into caring for others, it's easy for Twos to feel used or underappreciated. "[They] deserve someone who doesn't require them to be a caretaker," Paasch said.
According to Paasch, many Twos have reported happy relationships with their same type. This is likely because they are both empathetic, open communicators and will go out of their way to support one another.
Threes: A Partner Who Lives In The Present
Type Threes, also called The Achievers, are ambitious and self-motivated but are also influential in motivating others. "Threes are next-level partners," Paasch said. "They seem to be able to do it all and keep up with everything remarkably well."
However, when Threes become too focused on achieving their goals, it can cause them to become disengaged and apathetic. "Sometimes they need to be reminded to be present," she said, "and probably need to find a partner who doesn't live life at quite the [same] speed."
They should look for someone who encourages vulnerability, spontaneity, and goofiness. "Find someone who reminds you of both stillness and joy," she said to our Achievers.
Fours: A Partner Who Is Attentive
Type Fours, also called The Individualists, are often highly self-aware but tend to feel disconnected or misunderstood by others. To combat this, Paasch said Fours should find a partner "with a high capacity for connection and engagement."
Despite their desire to be seen and known, they have "often built up a lot of walls...because of how often [they've] experienced rejection and indifference in relationships." Fours respond well to words of affirmation as well as acts of service.
Eights who are socially dominant and Fours who are emotionally dominant often work well together and tend to have passionate relationships.
Fives: A Partner Who Will Give Them Space
Type Fives, also called The Investigators, are insightful and strive to understand the world around them. In an attempt to possess knowledge about the unknown, the exploratory Fives can easily become uninterested in things that are familiar to them.
Not only do they need space to explore new ideas, but "Fives need to find someone who will sit enraptured while they talk" about those ideas, "someone who knows when to ask good questions and when to back up."
They tend to minimize their own needs and can become isolated, so according to Paasch, "it can be important for their partners to anticipate their needs without crowding or pushing them."
Sixes: A Partner Who Feels Like Home
Type Sixes, also called The Loyalists, seek out security. They are reliable themselves and expect others to be the same.
If you're a Loyalist, "find someone who allows you to explore safely, someone who can ease your mind and show you dependable life-giving presence," Paasch said.
Because they are open to hearing the many fears and doubts of a Six, healthy Fours can be emotionally sensitive and compatible partners.
Sevens: A Partner With A Big Heart And Calm Demeanor
Type Sevens, also called The Enthusiasts, approach life with enthusiasm and a sense of adventure. Because they are highly spontaneous and often impulsive, "Sevens need a reason to stay in a relationship...and not feel trapped," Paasch said.
Partners who understand their need to explore will give them space to do so while also providing them with consistency. Paasch described this ideal partner as "big-hearted and chilled-out."
The Enthusiasts' brains work rapidly, synthesizing information around them and churning out new ideas. They work well with people who can engage in intellectual conversations but also be playful.
Eights: A Partner Who Will Stand Up For You
Type Eights, also called The Challengers, are confident and assertive. They desire to maintain control of their environments, which often interferes with their ability to be vulnerable.
"Eights are often billed as overpowering," Paasch said, "when, in fact, they are big-hearted and sensitive." Finding a partner who will stand up for the inspiring and good-hearted qualities of an Eight will help them bring out those softer sides.
Partners who are equally confident and assertive allow Eights to let their guard down. When in a relationship with Threes, Ones, or other high-achieving numbers, they no longer feel the need to compete. Instead, they can champion each other's accomplishments.
Nines: A Partner Who Takes It Slow
Type Nines, also called The Peacemakers, strive to create harmony by minimizing conflict. Because of their desire to maintain internal peace, Nines can be slow to invite people in, with the fear they might disrupt that peace.
Paasch advises Nines to take their time inviting people in. "Like, a lot of time," she said. "There is no rush."
Commonly terrified of conflict, Nines should avoid partners who steamroll them, pressure them, or attempt to rush them in any way.
Though choosing a partner based solely on your Enneagram can be limiting, a sense of self-awareness is always beneficial. If you're still uncertain whether you'll find the right person, ask yourself these four fundamental questions.
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Abby Moore is an editorial operations manager at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine. She has covered topics ranging from regenerative agriculture to celebrity entrepreneurship. Moore worked on the copywriting and marketing team at Siete Family Foods before moving to New York.