Navigating Relationships With The Enneagram Type Two Man

"MEN: You can't live with them, but you can't live without them!" A paradigm shift is beginning to occur when it comes to this statement. According to Enneagram personality experts, it's not sex-linked differences that cause relationship issues, but rather a lack of understanding about one's partner's personality type.

The Enneagram Personality Mapping system consists of nine distinct personality types, all with different world views and focuses of attention. By learning about the system, women can begin to understand the different personality types of their partners and establish more satisfying relationships.

An example:

Dorothy was enthralled with Roy when they first were dating. He seemed to know what she needed before she even did. He bent over backward to try to please her. Unlike other men she dated, he never forgot her birthday, listened intently when she spoke to him, and was kind and generous. When Roy asked her to marry him, she thought that she had hit the jackpot.

Five years into their marriage Dorothy finds herself frustrated with Roy. She feels he keeps score of what he does for her and then feels slighted if she does not reciprocate in the same manner. At times, this kind and gentle man blows his top venting long lists of things Dorothy has done to make him feel as if she's taking advantage of him. Dorothy is stunned by this behavior since Roy tends to never voice his concerns. What really drives her crazy is when she feels he tries to manipulate her with his kind gestures.  She once thought Roy was her knight in shining armor, but this image of him is beginning to tarnish. Dorothy is married to the Enneagram Type Two man, The Helper.

Who Is The Type Two Man?
This is a man who believes he needs to gain the love and respect of others by helping them. His focus of attention is on how to please others, and on how he is needed. The need to be needed is paramount to the Type Two man. His basic fear is being unlovable and unwanted.

Positive Traits of the Type Two Man:

  • Optimistic
  • Warm and Engaging
  • Mentors Others
  • Kind and Generous
  • Capable Of Giving Unconditional Love
  • Dutiful

Negative Traits of the Type Two Man:

  • Overextends Himself  
  • Very Indirect
  • Difficulty Saying No
  • Manipulation of Others
  • Need to Be Needed
  • Disconnected From Needs

How to Get Along With a Type Two Man

It is important to appreciate Type Two’s warmth, generosity, and enthusiasm for life. Thank him for his help and insight and acknowledge his accomplishments. It is also equally important to reassure a Type Two man that he is special to you. Buying him a special card or gift that lets him know you cherish him would be wholeheartedly welcomed. Other romantic gestures will also be embraced. With that said, be aware that this type of man likes his own space. Most importantly, offer constructive criticism when discussing concerns. The Type Two man is sensitive.

Helping Two's Move Into A Higher Level of Functioning

It is important to take an interest in his life and his problems so he always isn't focusing on yours. Encourage him to be more direct in asking for what he needs from you and to say "no" more frequently to others' requests. Assure him that he can express his true feelings. Take on some of the responsibility in the relationship so that he does not get lost in the role of being the responsible one.

Common Personality Types Two Partners With

Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele, authors of Are You My Type, Am I Yours? discovered that the Type Two men most often enter relationships with Type two women. This was followed by Type One, The Perfectionist, Type Three, The Achiever, Type Four, The Romantic, and Type Five, The Observer. That said, Baron and Wagele stress that we can all learn to get along with all different types!

With this information in hand you can begin to understand how to relate to a Type Two man.  In Dorothy's case, this saved her marriage. She got out of the way of her own worldview and opened herself up the world of Type Two.

If you would like to discover what your own personality type is, take this free Enneagram assessment

Melinda P. Neisser, MS, CDCP, CH