Which Enneagram Types Go Best Together? {Enneagram Series #25}

Which Enneagram types go best together? Those at their healthiest number. Here are the best/worst traits to watch for in each number.

Enneagram types go best together

Best Enneagram Types Together

“All relationships—those that truly matter and even those that don’t—require translation. And if our interest in relational growth and transformation is sincere, then the Enneagram is one of the most helpful translation tools available.”
– Suzanne Stabile

What number on the Enneagram would you get along best with? Worst?

Actually, there is no magic set of numbers that work best together. Ideally, you at your most mature self (whatever number you are) and your partner at their most mature self (whatever number they are) will be the most compatible.

However, some studies have been conducted to examine compatibility between Enneagram types and there are some preliminary conclusions.

With the caveat that solid research is still lacking, here are some highlights from a study of 457 couples of varying combinations. Read more about it here.

  • A couple with each partner having the same number is rare (the only exception is 4 and 4).
  • Men and women choose very differently. For example, male 9s and female 4s are often together, but not female 9s and male 4s.
  • Couples aren’t correlated by gut, heart, or head preferences.
  • The 4 most common pairings found (not necessarily successful) in this study: male 8 and female 2; male 9 and female 4, male 6 and female 2; male 9 and female 1.

Additionally, Richard Rohr gives a few basic pointers to help with relationships in The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective. Read more in the book.

  1. Birds of a feather? No.
    It’s very challenging to be in a close relationship with someone with the same number, for a variety of reasons.
  2. Good neighbors? Yes.
    Neighbors on the Enneagram circle can understand each other well, and help each other develop their wings.
  3. Arrow types? Maybe.
    Sometimes two types connected by a line on the Enneagram are compatible, but other times not. (Read “Be a Healthy Number—Lines, Arrows, and Letting Go“)
  4. Opposites attract? It depends.
    While wide differences may keep the relationship from boredom, they also bring a general lack of understanding. But with examination, that can also lead to a lot of growth.

The Enneagram Type Combinations

Want more specifics?

The Enneagram Institute offers an interesting chart of “The Enneagram Type Combinations.” While no chart or person can accurately predict the relationship dynamics between two people, this model does give insights that may be helpful to you. 

Enneagram Type Combinations

More Than Couples

But relationships are more than couples.

We all have a variety of relationships: friendships, siblings, parent/child, coworkers, etc. All can benefit by understanding each other more clearly. Not to stereotype each other. Not to blame each other. But to accept each other.

It’s not about which type is better or worse. It’s about learning to work with and appreciate each other for the gifts they bring.

Then we gain greater understanding. And greater compassion for each other.

See Series #26 on February 26 for more specific advice on how to get along with other numbers on the Enneagram in any relationship.

Spiritual Practice #17—Best and Worst in Relationship

The best way to learn about another person is to listen to them and interact with them. However, reading about their type may also give you unique insights that you weren’t previously aware of.

As you read about the numbers of the people close to you (and yourself), pray that you will use the information to love them better. Each person is a unique child of God and deserves to be respected as God created them.

The following information is excerpted from the Christian counseling website, Safe Harbor.

1—Perfectionist 

  • Ones at their best in relationship are loyal, dedicated, conscientious, and helpful. They are well balanced and have a good sense of humor.
  • Ones at their worst in a relationship are critical, argumentative, nit-picking, and uncompromising. They have high expectations of others.

2—Helper 

  • Twos at their best in a relationship are attentive, appreciative, generous, warm, playful, and nurturing. Twos make their partners feel special and loved.
  • Twos at their worst in a relationship are controlling, possessive, needy and insecure. Since they have trouble asking directly, they tend to manipulate to get what they want.

3—Performer 

  • Threes at their best in a relationship value and accept their partners. They are playful, giving, responsible, and well regarded by others in the community.
  • Threes at their worst in a relationship are preoccupied with work and projects. They are self-absorbed, defensive, impatient, dishonest, and controlling.

4—Individualist 

  • Fours at their best in a relationship are empathetic, supportive, gentle, playful, passionate, and witty. They are self- revealing and bond easily.
  • Fours at their worst in a relationship are too self-absorbed, jealous, emotionally needy, moody, self-righteous, and overly critical. They become hurt and feel rejected easily.

5—Investigator 

  • Fives at their best in a relationship are kind, perceptive, open-minded, self-sufficient, and trustworthy.
  • Fives at their worst in a relationship are contentious, suspicious, withdrawn, and negative. They are on guard against being engulfed.

6—Loyalist 

  • Sixes at their best in a relationship are warm, playful, open, loyal, supportive, honest, fair, and reliable
  • Sixes at their worst in a relationship are suspicious, controlling, inflexible, and sarcastic. They either withdraw or put on a tough act when threatened.

7—Enthusiast 

  • Sevens at their best in a relationship are lighthearted, generous, outgoing, caring and fun. They introduce their friends and loved ones to new activities and adventures.
  • Sevens at their worst in a relationship are narcissistic, opinionated, defensive, and distract. They are often ambivalent about being tied down to a relationship.

8—Challenger 

  • Eights at their best in a relationship are loyal, caring, positive, playful, truthful, straightforward, committed, generous, and supportive.
  • Eights at their worst in a relationship are demanding arrogant, combative, possessive, uncompromising, and quick to find fault.

9—Peacemaker 

  • Nines at their best in a relationship are kind, gentle, reassuring, supportive, loyal and nonjudgmental.
  • Nines at their worst in a relationship are stubborn, passive-aggressive, unassertive, overly accommodating, and defensive.

What combination of Enneagram numbers are you in relationship with? Easy or hard? Please share in the comments.

Enneagram for Spiritual Growth

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Previous: Shine a Light on 9 Ways We Lose Our Way {Series #24}

Next: Improve Your Relationships with Other Numbers on the Enneagram {Series #26} 

6 thoughts on “Which Enneagram Types Go Best Together? {Enneagram Series #25}

  1. Jeanne Takenaka

    Great post, Lisa! I know my number, but my hubs has never taken the test. I’m with Anita. I think our entire family needs to take it. 🙂 One of my boys has taken it. His results surprised me, but knowing his number really helps me understand him better. 🙂

  2. Lesley

    This is interesting to learn about! I’d love to find out the numbers of some of the people around me as I think it would help us understand one another more. It’s hard to tell just from the descriptions.

  3. Yvonne Chase

    I am intrigued by the Enneagram and need to take the test to know my number. This line stood out to me: “Each person is a unique child of God and deserves to be respected as God created them.” Amen! It is our uniqueness that adds flavor, dimension, and depth to our relationships. Like the Five Love Languages, it couldn’t hurt to know your Enneagram number in marriage and I suppose it could be helpful while dating someone you plan to marry. Great post!

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