How You Need To Be Loved In A Relationship, Based On Your Enneagram Personality Type

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Self

The Enneagram is an ancient model for understanding human personality types.

The Enneagram was created in 1915 as a human development system. Philosopher and teacher George Gurdjieff coined the term enneagram; Oscar Ichazo, the founder of the Arica School, is cited as creating the nine different personality types around the Enneagram diagram.

The theories behind its use and significance were updated by psychologists within the Human Potential Movement in the 1970s, and to this day it remains a powerful method for gaining insight into personality types, how to work with them, and how to improve the way we connect with others and operate in the world.

Understanding where we and our partner fall within the spectrum of the Enneagram personality types can be particularly useful for our relationships, as it helps us get a sense of the way our specific personality traits come to light in our love lives.

The Enneagram is divided into nine types. Each type is identified by a number, as well as by its characteristic role. 

According to a study, the rarest type of Enneagram is Type 8; Type 4 is also one of the rarest types and, according to a study, Type 4s make up 11 percent of the population, with 12 percent of women and 10 percent of men.

The types interconnect to each other along lines indicating types that influence us during more adverse and more relaxed circumstances. Someone classed as Type 1 may begin to think, feel, and act more like Type 4 when stressed, or more like a Type 7 when relaxed.

Many people are also influenced by the types immediately to their own right and left, known as wings. Someone identified as Type 3, for example, is understood to have Types 2 and 4 as their wings. While our wing types influence us, they never change our core.

Everyone is born with one dominant type of Enneagram, and to find which one you are, you can take this free test.

Here are how the Enneagram types in love behave, the core traits of each personality type, and the best matches for each.

Type 1: The Reformer

The basic need of the Reformer is to feel that all is in order. They strive to improve and for perfection because they aim to get things "right" by trying to be rational, idealistic, principled, purposeful, and self-controlled.

When relaxed, they are great at working to make things happen well, and they can be playful. When stressed, they feel that they are bad or wrong, or that things around them are not as they should be, they can become hypercritical, short-tempered, irritable and angry, and controlling.

If your partner is Type 1, perhaps they are stressed and therefore feeling out of control.

Instead of ending up in a shouting match, you will probably see that they are overwhelmed and can help by showing them what is working in their world, and how to divide tasks into little chunks so things feel right and manageable for them.

Pointing out what is working for them will help them re-center and feel more connected and in the present moment. Remind them, when they are open to hearing it, that the fundamental nature of everything is inherently perfect, and encourage them to find perfection in the imperfection of life.

Best Match For Type 1: The best matches for Type 1 are Types 2 and 7. Type 1 is drawn to types that help them ease up and find beauty in life. The two combinations offer each other qualities different from their own.

Healthy relationships are built on shared values like reliability, truth, and independence, and 1s and 2s and 1s and 7s have that.

RELATED: Find Out Your Enneagram Number (And What It Says About How You Fall In Love)

Type 2: The Helper

The basic need of the Helper is to be loved. In order to get love, they try to be very loving themselves.

When relaxed, they are genuinely caring, friendly, demonstrative, hospitable, and generous. When stressed, they may be overly people-pleasing, ingratiating, possessive, clingy, and resentful.

If you experience them as needy, passive-aggressive, or guilt-tripping, you can remind them that they are great just the way they are and that they don’t need reassurance from the outside to be the lovable selves they intrinsically are.

You can do this in a loving way, but if you feel you can't, notice if you're feeling stressed and what you might need at the moment!

Best Match For Type 2: Type 2s are best paired with Type 3 and Type 8. They need a partner who won't take advantage of them, as they find it hard to vocalize their needs sometimes.

Type 3s and Type 8s can reciprocate intimacy and won't take advantage of Type 2's generosity and kindness.

RELATED: The Type Of Relationship Problems You’ll Have With Your Partner, According To Enneagram Type

Type 3: The Achiever

The basic need of the Achiever is to feel valuable. In order to best prove their worth to others, they tend to be pragmatic, driven, successful, and future-oriented.

When relaxed, they are highly adaptive, often excelling in whatever they do. When stressed, they are image-conscious, vain, approval-seeking, and punishing of themselves in their drive to always be "the best."

Because they often find it difficult to perceive what they truly feel or what is true for them, you can remind them to take time to tap into what they genuinely feel so that don’t just overlay the attitudes they think are appropriate for the situation.

Remind them that being great has more to do with being rather than doing when it comes to who they are when they are vulnerable and emotionally available.

Best Match For Type 3: Type 3 is best matched with Type 9. This pairing needs each other because Type 9 helps support, encourage and give a sense of pride in Type 3's accomplishments.

Type 4: The Individualist

But the basic need of the Individualist is to express their uniqueness. They prove their significance to themselves and others through their creativity, artistry, expressive imagination, and talent.

When relaxed, they are honest with themselves, self-reflective, profoundly creative, and inspired. When stressed, they can become overly sensitive, overly dramatic, self-absorbed, withdrawn, fantasizing, melancholic, and temperamental.

This Enneagram type takes their emotions seriously and often feels that if they feel something, it's real. Firstly, it's helpful to acknowledge that you know the issue feels real to them. Then gently remind them that you too have feelings about the situation that may feel different from theirs.

Take the time to discuss their feelings, and yours as well. This is important because otherwise they will simply feel dismissed and won’t be able to hear the other side of the situation. Only then can you gently remind them to look at the situation from a different perspective, trying to witness their emotions instead of buying into them.

Type 4 is said to be the most difficult to understand because they can be very sensitive and reserved. They are also the most introverted because their strong emotions mean they need alone time to “recharge." They are also very observant and mindful of their surroundings and think before acting.

Best Match For Type 4: Type 4 needs a match that is reliable and realistic because sometimes they can get carried away in dreams and ideas outside of reality. That's why Type 4 is best matched with Types 5 and 9, who bring balance when they go over the edge. 

Type 5: The Investigator

The basic need of the Investigator is to be masterful. They grow up feeling a strong need to have their act together. In order to guard against their of fears helplessness, incapability and incompetence, they may become intensely cerebral.

When relaxed, they are perceptive, innovative, and able to understand the patterns of things, making them good problem-solvers. When stressed, they can be secretive, isolated, stingy, and risk-averse.

Their desire to be competent can deteriorate into useless specialization. They manipulate others by trying to make them feel helpless, incompetent, stupid, and incapable, and being preoccupied and detaching emotionally.

Because Type 5s can become hyperactive and scattered, a partner can gently remind them to focus on the issue at hand. Also, because they have a tendency of withdrawing from reality into concepts, mental worlds and indecision when stressed, remind them to connect with their feelings and their deeper inner selves.

By listening to them as they describe their inner experience, you validate their self-worth, and they will feel less alone and separate.

Best Match For Type 5: Type 5s need a partner that will help them express and talk about their emotions. A partnership with Type 1 and Type 5s, they are able to form a relationship built on a foundation of dependability and trust.

Type 5s are also a good match with Type 2s because they are opposites that attract; they can help each other's flaws in the best way.

Type 6: The Loyalist

The basic need of the Loyalist is to feel supported. They are great joiners. If they don’t find a group to join, they will often help to create one they feel will be supportive of others.

When relaxed, they are engaging, loyal, responsible, and committed to organizations that they feel are supportive of them as well. When stressed, they can become anxious, fretful, cowardly, and suspicious.

Remind them that you care about their well-being even though you might encounter differences. Being reminded that they are part of a loving relationship will help them to become more relaxed and optimistic.

Because they will become dependent on something outside themselves for guidance, you can remind them to find a way to access their inner wisdom perhaps through journaling contemplation or meditation.

Best Match For Type 6: Type 6's best match is with Type 9. This type is actually one of the most stable and most common relationships out there. Each of the types is committed and trustworthy, and both want security and predictability.

RELATED: What Is An Enneagram & Which Type Best Describes Your Zodiac Sign

Type 7: The Enthusiast

The basic need of the Enthusiast is to feel satisfied and content. Type 7s love to be busy and spontaneous. They are all about adventure, and they hate to feel trapped.

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When relaxed, they are versatile, fun-loving, creative, and inspiring. When stressed, they can be distractible, flaky, overextended, scattered, and envious.

Type 7s feel trapped when things are not going smoothly. They tend to feel that if life is not flowing well, something is wrong and they can get the feeling that something better is available somewhere else.

Type 7s can really grow when they slow down and stick things out, so although they might crave the new and exciting, encourage them to find beauty in the moment and not rush to change things.

Because they are naturally optimistic and enjoy a challenge, if they feel that you really care, their tendency to want to make things happen will allow them to work to sort things out.

Best Match For Type 7: Type 7 is a great match with Type 3 and Type 9. Type 3 and Type 7 are both self-assertive, outgoing, and bring optimism and life to their relationships; Type 7 and Type 9 are attracted to each other because they are both upbeat, agreeable, and positive.

Type 8: The Challenger

The basic need of the Challenger is to feel protected. Type 8s are the archetypical leaders of the pack and like to feel completely self-sufficient. They have a fear of being harmed, controlled, or violated by others.

When relaxed, they are often powerful, self-confident, and decisive. When they are stressed, they can become willful, dominating, confrontational, vengeful, and lustful.

When stressed, self-confident 8s become secretive and fearful, they are overbearing and controlling because they have high standards. Because they feel they need to fight to make things happen, they can be hard to deal with.

Remind them that they are loved and that you really care about them. This will enable them to soften.

Because they tend to push away feelings of weakness or vulnerability, and fear “soft” emotions such as sadness, weakness, indecisiveness, neediness or deficiency, you need to get across to them the notion that you appreciate them when they can show the side of themselves that does not always feel strong.

Then they will be able to relax and show you the truly caring side of their nature.

Best Match For Type 8: Type 8 will find a long-lasting and special bond with Type 6. They both value trust, loyalty, responsibility, and Type 6 can help advise Type 8, giving them warmth and a personal connection they crave.

Type 9: The Peacemaker

The basic need of the Peacemaker is for harmony and peace of mind. Type 9s like everything around them to be in harmony and will often sacrifice their own needs in order to avoid conflict and self-assertion.

When 9s are relaxed, they are easygoing, self-effacing, receptive, reassuring, agreeable, and prone to daydreaming. When they are stressed, they can become complacent, apathetic, lazy, and depressed. In their worst moments, they may feel intense separation and fragmentation of the self.

Because they can easily see other’s point-of-view, they might become outwardly accommodating others for peace at all costs. They are, however, innately solid, stable, dependable, and kind, and it's a gentle reminder to them to connect with their inner selves to access their own truth.

Best Match For Type 9: Type 9's best match is with Type 1 or Type 2. Type 9 can help 1 and 2 reduce anxiety, and 9 can gain knowledge about how to build structure in their life and set an agenda.

What Enneagram types go best together?

Enneagram compatibility depends on the core traits of each type and which ones fit the best together. But it's also dependent on which types are able to help each other and build a strong connection.

The best Enneagram pairings include Type 4 and Type 5 because they balance each other out extremely well; there's an undeniable connection between the two of them. They have so many things in common like their fiery energy, and they constantly inspire and love each other.

What is the most common Enneagram pair?

In Helen Palmer's Book, "The Enneagram in Love & Work," she states that the most common pairing is Type 8 men and Type 2 women. Other common combinations include Type 4 women with Type 9 men; Type 2 women with Type 6 men; and Type 1 women and Type 5 men.

Are same-type Enneagram pairs compatible?

Typically, Enneagrams of the same sign aren't compatible. Because each type has its own unique characteristics, they require a type with different traits to help them. 

Of course, some people are just drawn to someone who is the same type but might crave something different and refreshing.

RELATED: How To Figure Out Your Enneagram Personality Type Without Taking The Test (& What It Says About You)

Lorell Frysh, Ph.D. has a doctoral degree in East-West psychology, with a focus on Transpersonal Psychology and Spiritual Counseling. She's also the author of the spiritual novel, 'Jewels in the Net of the Gods.'