Enneagram Compatibility: The Theory
After people learn their own Enneagram type, the next question I invariably get asked is “what types go well together?” or “who should I be with?” Everyone wants to know.
The answer is that all type combinations can be happy together if both partners have high levels of self-awareness. And the reverse is true. All combinations may struggle if both people have a lack of self-awareness. Enneagram compatibility is more about similar levels self-awareness than it is about personality type.
The basic guidelines are:
- Two highly self-aware people have the best chance of success.
- Two highly unaware people may be able to continue in a relationship but it is usually characterized with relationship problems. Their chance of real success is low.
- If one person is highly self-aware and the other isn’t, at some point the relationship usually just stops making sense. The two people will not understand each other enough to continue.
That said, there are couplings that seem to happen more frequently.
Enneagram Compatibility: The Most Common Couples
Based on a study with 457 couples, below are the most common combinations. This doesn’t mean these are the most successful combinations, it just means they happened in this study with the most frequency.
Most Common Match If The:
|Woman is Type 1 (Perfectionist)||Man is Type 9 (Peacemaker)|
|Woman is Type 2 (Helper)||Man is Type 8 (Leader)|
|Woman is Type 3 (Achiever)||Man is Type 1 (Perfectionist)|
|Woman is Type 4 (Artist)||Man is Type 9 (Peacemaker)|
|Woman is Type 5 (Thinker)||Man is Type 1 (Perfectionist)|
|Woman is Type 6 (Loyalist)||Man is Type 8 (Leader) or Type 9 (Peacemaker)|
|Woman is Type 7 (Enthusiast)||Man is Type 5 (Thinker) or Type 1 (Perfectionist)|
|Woman is Type 8 (Leader)||Man is Type 9 (Peacemaker)|
|Woman is Type 9 (Peacemaker)||Man is Type 6 (Loyalist)|
Most Common Match If The:
|Man is Type 1 (Perfectionist)||Woman is Type 2 (Helper)|
|Man is Type 2 (Helper)||Woman is Type 4 (Artist)|
|Man is Type 3 (Achiever)||Woman is Type 9 (Peacemaker)|
|Man is Type 4 (Artist)||Woman is Type 2 (Helper)|
|Man is Type 5 (Thinker)||Woman is Type 1 (Perfectionist)|
|Man is Type 6 (Loyalist)||Woman is Type 2 (Helper)|
|Man is Type 7 (Enthusiast)||Woman is Type 1 (Perfectionist)|
|Man is Type 8 (Leader)||Woman is Type 2 (Helper)|
|Man is Type 9 (Peacemaker)||Woman is Type 4 (Artist)|
From this same study we learned:
Men and women choose their partners differently.
We shouldn’t say Type 2 (Helpers) and Type 8 (Leaders) often go together. We should say female Type 2 (Helpers) are often found with male Type 8 (Leaders). Gender makes a difference when it comes to the frequency of the combinations. For example:
- Male Type 9 (Peacemakers) are often found with female Type 4 (Artists) (16 couples in this study). However male Type 4 (Artists) with female Type 9 (Peacemakers) are extremely rare (2 couples).
- Female Type 8 (Leaders) were often found with male Type 9 (Peacemakers). However male Type 8 (Leaders) were more often found with female Type 2 (Helpers) and female Type 6 (Loyalists).
- Birds of a feather do not flock together! At least not in Enneagram terms as it relates to love…
Same Enneagram personality type marriages occurred two times less often than statistically expected. The one exception to this was double Type Four couples. These occurred more often than the statistical norm.
Click on the image above to learn more about the 45 Enneagram type combinations in relationships.
About the author:
I’m an Enneagram 7w8, sx/so/sp.
I worked as a CPA in the San Francisco Bay area for 15 years until I decided to move to Athens, Greece. You can read my story: Connecting the Dots: How I Went from Being a San Francisco CFO to an Athens Yoga Instructor. Based on my experience, I believe Kundalini Yoga combined with the Enneagram is one of the fastest paths to transformation. I have written two books on the topic.
UPDATE TO MY BLOG POST ABOVE:
After I wrote this post in 2016, I noticed hundreds of people were visiting this page every day looking for information about Enneagram type compatibility. Based on your interest, I wrote a second book focusing on Enneagram type compatibility in intimate relationships.
“The Nine Keys: A Guide Book to Unlock Your Relationships Using Kundalini Yoga and the Enneagram” (published November 2018) looks at intimate relationships through the lens of the Enneagram. If you enjoyed this post, you may be interested in The Nine Keys.
In The Nine Keys, I interviewed over 100 couples spanning all 45 type combinations to hear directly about their relationship strengths and challenges from an Enneagram perspective. Their testimonials are included in the book. The book also includes the theory of relationship type compatibility. In the last part of the book, I included Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations for the various Enneagram types.
Watch: Kundalini Yoga videos for your Enneagram Type
Can simple yoga exercises and meditations help you relax your Enneagram habit of attention? Yes, they can. Check out my YouTube Channel for Kundalini Yoga Exercises and Meditations for specific Enneagram Types. You can see a summary of Kundalini Yoga kriyas (exercise sets) and meditations by Enneagram Type here.