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Enneagram Type 2 Relationships: In Love and Friendships

How to be in a relationship with a Type 2 Enneagram

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Every Enneagram type relates to other Enneagram types in different ways. Type 2s have different positives and negatives when it comes to the compatibility with the other types. Here we list the romantic relationship compatibility of a Type 2 with every other Enneagram type, so you can discover how to attract and get along with an Enneagram Type 2.

Type 2 Compatibility Analysis

Compatibility between Type 2s and other types

In this study, participants completed our enneagram type questionnaire, and were asked to describe their ideal partner using the key personality dimensions which determines a person's enneatype. This allowed to identify both the participants’ enneatypes and the enneatypes of their preferred romantic partners. From this, we are able to determine the compatibility of different enneatypes by gauging how mutually attractive they are to one another.

For example, if Type Ones and Type Twos rate each other as highly attractive, that indicates a high degree of compatibility. Similarly, if Type Ones and Twos rate each other as unattractive, that indicates a low degree of compatibility. And lastly, if Type Ones and Twos rate each other as moderately attractive, or if both Types gave opposite ratings of attractiveness to each other, that would indicates a moderate degree of compatibility. Below we report our findings on Enneagram type compatibility.

Figure 1: Percent compatibility analysis for Type Two relationships

relationships compatibility

What this chart shows

This chart shows an estimate of how compatible Type Twos are with other types. Our research suggests that Type Twos are in fact most compatible with other Type Twos. This is because Type Twos consistently rated other Type Twos as the most desirable romantic partners. After other Type Twos, Type Nines and Ones were also found to be highly compatible. This is because Type Twos and Type Nines / Ones mutually rate each other as desirable, suggesting a high degree of compatibility.

Our research also suggests that Type Sixes, Fives and Fours are the least compatible with Type Twos. This is because Type Twos and Type Sixes / Fives / Fours mutually rate each other as undesirable, suggesting a low degree of compatibility.

Lastly, our findings suggest that Type Threes, Sevens, and Eights show moderate compatibility with Type Twos. This is either because Type Twos and Type Threes / Sevens / Eights mutually find each other only moderately desirable, or there is a large difference between how desirable each Type perceives the other.

  • 1. n=1,301
  • 2. Population: global
  • 3. Live dataset last updated:

Let us compare this to the results for all Enneagram types using our Enneagram compatibility matrix:

Figure 2: Percent compatibility analysis for Enneagram types

enneagram compatibility matrix

What this chart shows

This chart shows two major findings. Firstly, across all enneatypes, the most compatible combination is universally that same enneatype. This is because every enneatype found their own enneatype to be more attractive than any other, resulting in the highest levels of compatibility. Although this trend is universal, the degree of compatibility does vary slightly. For example, Type Twos and Fours found their own enneatype to be especially attractive, with compatibility ratings of 97%. However, Type Eights only show an 84% compatibility rating with other Type Eights, albeit still higher than with other enneatypes.

Secondly, we see that the degree of similarly largely determines the degree of compatibility. For example, Type Twos and Type Nines are highly similar personality types, both showing high levels of agreeableness, cooperation, and team orientation. We can clearly see that Type Twos and Type Nines are highly compatible, mutually rating each other as attractive. However, Type Eights and Type Nines are very different, showing polar opposite levels of assertiveness, competitiveness, and emotional volatility. As a result, Type Eights and Type Nines mutually rate each other as undesirable, making them less compatible.

Both of these key findings suggest that interpersonal attractiveness is heavily based on similarity, rather than difference. Among all enneatypes, the correlation between the degree of interpersonal similarity and ratings of desirability was found to be .82, suggesting a very strong association. This provides evidence for the old adage, “Birds of a feather flock together”, and discredits the alternative notion that “Opposites attract”.

  • 1. n=1,301
  • 2. Population: global
  • 3. Live dataset last updated:

Remember this data is aggregate data collected by people's self-report of relationship success coupled with our research into personality type theory. Understandably there will exist many happy and successful relationships between people who have 'low' compatibility. Personality type is just one factor to a successful relationship, and there is a high level of variance in the data. There will be outliers and exceptions; this data is merely propensity to a successful match. If only love could be explained entirely through science!

Type 1 and Type 2 Relationships

How compatible are Type Twos in a relationship with Type Ones?

Type Ones and Twos work very well in relationships as they share some similar qualities while those they do not share are often complimentary. Both types have a high sense of duty and work towards causes that they find meaningful and compliant with their moral standards. For example, they may both be in service roles or work for the public sector.

Both Type Twos and Ones focus on the needs of others, and this can take away the focus from their own relationship. As a result, Type 1 and Type 2 relationships are typically quite mature. The relationship is kept strong from their solid values and foundational ethics that they both bring to it.

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Both Type Twos and Type Ones focus on the needs of others, and this can take away the focus our from their own relationship.

Therefore, the relationship is built around these values and both will likely follow a similar path of growth. While Ones bring stability, consistency, and integrity, Twos will bring the nurturing and helpful support to the relationship, (something that Ones struggle with doing). This will make the Two feel secure and looked after. Equally, while Ones can sometimes appear cold, the Two will bring warmth to the coupling.

However, the incompatibilities between Type Twos and Ones can cause potential issues. They tend to both struggle with expressing their feelings openly and these can lead to things unsaid in the relationship and to have issues left unresolved for longer than is necessary.

quotation marks Both Ones and Twos struggle with expressing their feelings openly and this can lead to things unsaid in the relationship.
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

Ones have high standards for others and if they feel that their Two partner is giving too much of themselves helping others and not themselves, then Ones may be frustrated or disappointed in their partner. Equally, Twos can see Ones as high-minded or unsympathetic leading to criticism, which Type Ones don't readily accept. This, in turn, can damage the Type One's sense of idealism. This, coupled with their difficulty in communication, can leave some issues to slowly simmer until they escalate to larger, more confrontational arguments.

Double Type 2 Relationships

How compatible are double Type 2 relationships?

A double Type 2 relationship can be very attractive due to the similarities but can also have a few challenges. Both partners in the relationship will have high levels of compassion, affection and warmth that they will offer the other while generally being willing and committed to their partner's welfare. They will therefore treat the other with great tenderness and care.

Double Type 2 relationships will understand each other more often than not, and at their best will support and help each other in whatever ways they can. They will appreciate the support that their partner shows them and others and will love them for it. Of course, since many Type Twos are not used to themselves being cared for, they will have to learn to be nurtured by someone else. If successful, they will likely go on to become an affectionate and warm-hearted couple that utilizes the secure tenderness they give each other to raise a family, and make the world a nicer, more loving place to be.

Nurture or nurtured?

Double Type 2 relationships will have to get used to being cared for by someone else who can give them equal levels of care that they do to others.

However, one of the biggest challenges inherent in a double Type Two relationship: their feeling-orientated way of living. Type Twos often look for others to offer them validation and individual self worth and a pair that pay too much attention to this can cause problems. The double Type Two pairing could slip into emotional competition with each other, or jealousy if their partner has intimate emotional connections with others.

If someone in the Type 2 relationship starts to not get the validation they crave, this could lead to low self-esteem which in turn leads to unhealthy choices such as gaining excessive weight or not being properly hygienic. Worse still, an unhealthy double Type Two relationship might initiate one or both of the pairing to look for emotional consolations elsewhere, as they crave intimacy and support from others. If one of the pairing descends further than the other, the less unhealthy Type Two will start to find their partner and increasing burden that leads to their own unhappiness and lack of self flourishing.

Type 3 and Type 2 Relationships

How compatible are Type 2s in a relationship with Type 3s?

Type 3 and Type 2 relationships are driven primarily by their emotions and feelings - as they are both enneagram heart types. Both have a need for interpersonal praise and for attention from others. For Type Threes, this desire is overt and likely to be obvious, but for Twos, the need to more subtle and less apparent. Nevertheless, since both in the relationship are geared towards people, this can make the pairing one of the most interpersonally attractive around. They are both sociable, able to deal with people, charming in their own way and enjoyable to be around for others. Both have an instinctive sense of how to win over the people around from their relative high levels of emotional intelligence. As a pair, this is even greater as each will bring their own idiosyncratic charm and energy to the interaction. Twos and Threes can make impressive pairings as a couple - dazzling others with their social gifts and admirable interpersonal qualities.

Type 3 and Type 2 relationships work well as a team. Where Twos like to put their focus and energy onto others, Threes like that focus and energy to be on themselves. This can sometimes create a situation where the Three acts as the head, while the Two acts as the neck. As long as the Twos enjoy giving the attention and the Three pairing receiving it, then this arrangement can work well.

letter i in grey circle for information point

Type Two and Three relationship might rely on Twos giving their focus to their Three partner while the Three receives the attention in turn.

However, this pairing can come at a price. By giving most of the attention to their Three partner, if this happens too often or too intensely, and others start heaping praise onto the Three, then the Two partner can become jealous and possessive. Twos will want to have some recognition for the fostering of their characters and will almost try to take credit for the way the Three behaves - for better or worse. Naturally, Threes find it difficult to give their tanks to other or share their success and glory and will be reluctant to offer Twos the recognition they crave. Also, the Three will claim that the Two is trying to take too much credit. If this argument takes place in public, it is all the worse for it.

The challenge comes in that both partners in a Type Two and Three pairing seek praise and are vulnerable without it. Both partners know this, and know the weak spots of the other - and will use to their advantage in arguments if they need to. Since both act with feelings and emotions, this can descend quickly and horribly, in a vicious cycle, if left to continue without remedy. Eventually, Twos will start to feel that their Three partner puts themselves before their relationship, while the Three feels that their Two partner is emotionally manipulating or smothering them, making them feel guilty for success. This can result in open hostility towards each other and signals a negative outlook on their relationship.

Type 4 and Type 2 Relationships

How compatible are Type 2s in a relationship with Type 4s?

A Type 4 and Type 2 relationship can be present difficulties in many cases. Both partners long for warmth and both can provide this once they have become familiar with each other and have overcome any initial trepidation around intimacy. Twos are natural safe spaces for willing partners to share their desires, fears and challenges. Twos help by offering their warmth, sociable nature, caring energy and consideration to the other. They are also willing to go out of their way to help their Type Four partner which is an attractive prospect for a Type Four.

Type Fours bring their individual creativity, expressive behavior and openness to the mix. Since Fours care about beauty and sensuality, they can bring this to their Type Two partner ho will enjoy that environment and feel more relaxed and comforted in the process. This openness, especially for a sexual and expressive perspective, can be meaningful for Type Twos who are helped by their Type Four partner in opening up and looking deeper into themselves, figuring out what it is personally that they want from others and from life.

Depth and novelty

Type Fours can bring and openness and emotional honesty that helps bring the Type Two out of their shell and to explore new things.

However, the similarities in needs for Type Twos and Type Fours can make this pairing generally unlikely. Both Twos and Fours tend to have a need for closeness and for someone to be dear with, but over the long term, this can cause the pairing to become competitive over attention in who can be more appreciated than the other. As a result, Type Two and Four relationships are typically more friendly than romantic.

While Type Twos like to help others, they can be put off by the sensitive and temperamental nature of Type Fours. They tend to see them as too self-interested and delicate, and too inward focused to care for the needs of others - a trait that Twos admire. Likewise, Type Fours find Type Twos to be needy and secretly clingy and they can interpret their partner's caring behavior as being superficially helpful - thinking instead that it is an attempt at emotional bribery. Overall, these differences of perspective can cripple the relationship and make it emotionally difficult to navigate.

Type 5 and Type 2 Relationships

How compatible are Type 2s in a relationship with Type 5s?

A Type 5 and Type 2 relationships is one of the most unusual - given their differences; they are practically opposites along the Enneagram. Where Type Twos are heart types, generous and open to social activities with others, Type Fives are head types: reserved, distant, and cerebral. Yet Twos see Fives as exciting challenges, trying to interpret obscure signals and find a way into their hearts. By the Twos taking initiative, (something Fives rarely do), the possibility of a relationship begins to bloom.

When healthy, Twos will bring warmth as well as an caring openness that Fives struggle to replicate, but will secretly appreciate. Fives, in turn, will be loyal to their Two partner. Since Fives tend to find relationships difficult, they will highly value the one they have with their Two partner. Fives bring stability and wise judgement to proceedings - an invaluable source for Type Twos who typically make decisions emotionally, rather than dispassionately. This calm influence can help steady the Type Two while the Two ignites their Five partner with forward momentum.

dim bulb

Twos will bring warmth as well as an caring openness that Fives struggle to replicate, but will secretly appreciate.

However, the major difference in how Twos and Fives respond to situations can be a difficult hurdle. While Twos respond emotionally the events, they can become frustrated at their Five partner's lack of attachment to the situation - as they tend to withdraw and detach themselves to reflect on what is going on or what has happened. Twos may then badger their partner for a response that the Twos more readily understand. Fives will find this uncomfortable and will either retreat further into themselves or lose self-confidence in their preferred way of being.

quotation marks Where Type Twos will confront an issue emotionally and viscerally, Type Fives will withdraw, reflect and confront it cerebrally.
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

If the Five does start to retreat from the world or from their partner, then the Type Two will feel obligated to try even harder to get them to express themselves emotionally, often simply making the situation much worse. Stressed Twos tend to have a desperate need for validation from others and for them to be told that they are helpful. The Fives' unwillingly to do either of these will need the Two-Five relationship down a challenging or even broken path.

Type 6 and Type 2 Relationships

How compatible are Type 2s in a relationship with Type 6s?

Type 6 and Type 2 relationships can become quite strained if not carefully managed. Both types are responsible, and take their duty towards each other in the relationships seriously. Type Sixes are notoriously loyal and diligent and Twos focused primarily on building compassion between them. Together, a platform of trust and hard work can be established - making the Two and Six pairing often a strong one.

Both Twos and Sixes are family orientated, and Sixes will admire the Twos devotion to others, especially children that they may foster between them. While Twos will admire the Sixes' commitment and perseverance in the face of adversity - giving them the confidence that they can whether challenges and hardship in their relationship together. When both Twos and Sixes are healthy, they will have mutual respect for one another and see each other as the source of building a productive life together, but this is more often than not based on their affection for their compassion and steadiness respectively, rather than sensuous chemistry.

quotation marks Type Two and Six relationships are based more on what they both bring as a productive unit, rather than one of intimate and steamy abandon.
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

However, when a Six gets stressed, with all the competing pressures of life which include their Two partner, they can struggle with making decisions. As Sixes become increasingly anxious, Twos may begin to offer some help, as is their natural reaction. Sixes will tend to see this offer of help as an indication of their own weakness and inability, massively inflaming their sense of anxiety and insecurity. This cycle of frustration and potential resolution with their partner can become grating and increasingly more difficult to remedy.

letter i in grey circle for information point

As Sixes become increasingly anxious, Twos may begin to offer some help, but this will only exacerbate the Sixes' sense of anxiety and insecurity.

The challenge increases further when the Two partner is also stressed, leading their to grip tighter in craving affection from their Six partner - making the cycle deeper and worse still. Both Types are then playing with each others core fears that can ultimately became fatal if not resolved before the cycle becomes too embedded.

Type 7 and Type 2 Relationships

How compatible are Type 2s in a relationship with Type 2s?

A Type 7 and Type 2 relationship has the potential to become comfortable and synergistic. Both Types are quite similar with their idealistic outlook, both can be outgoing and friendly, and both often look for the positives out of an event. Their shared idealism is translated into their altruistic action, mainly driven by the Two partner, and as such the Two-Seven combination can have a positive impact on the world - potentially unequally along the enneagram pairings.

Twos bring a depth of care and emotional concern for others in the partnership, and their appreciate the boldness that Type Sevens bring into their daily lives. Sevens can be high energy, and that excitement that Sevens generate can be very intoxicating for their Two partner. This energy reminds the Two to be good to themselves as well as to others and to every now and again look out for their own personal interests - a sign of a healthy Type Two. Meanwhile, healthy Twos meet the emotional and physical needs of their Seven partner.

Putting good into the world

Two and Seven share an idealism is translated into their altruistic action, offering a positive impact to the world

However, Twos and Sevens have a differing levels of domesticity and commitment that can make the relationship difficult. While the Two will like the idea of quiet moments together, being at home, and settling down, the Seven partner will start to fidget and become increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of resting. Sevens are able to commit long-term, but are unlikely to be happy about it. Sevens are interested in new experiences and may feel that their relationship has become something of a chore, predictable and stale. Unhealthy Twos will then cling onto the relationship ever tighter which in turn makes the Seven partner feel trapped.

quotation marks Type Twos will cling tighter to the fraying relationship which in turn makes the Seven partner feel trapped.
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

Since Sevens often need to be the center of attention to feel energized and upbeat, when their Two partner stops giving them the type of idolization that they require, they will seek it elsewhere. This stalemate can lead the Two to become unhappy with their partner, while the Seven will likely start to look elsewhere for fulfillment.

Type 8 and Type 2 Relationships

How compatible are Type 2s in a relationship with Type 8s?

Although Type Two and Type Eights have their differences, they are more similar than they might at first appear. Both have an innate need to get involved with things and others. Both like to be the strong and stable one in the relationship, playing the role of protector or nurturer, sometimes at the expense of their own needs, and both types bring a vitality and strong interpersonal skills into the mix. That being said, they are different in distinct ways. While Twos are primarily focused on the welfare of others, Eights are more interested in their own wellbeing - even at the expense of others.

quotation marks This relationship can be a strong allied force, standing up for causes and making decisions as a couple
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

Given the Eight's inherent self-interest, they will greatly enjoy the attention and affection they receive from their Type Two partner. The Two will admire and enjoy the noble qualities of their Eight partner - their fortitude and persistence in the face of adversity - and as such the partnership can be encouraging to each other. Since such clear roles in the relationship - where the Two is concerned with others, their Eight partner is more focused on results - they tend not to clash or overlap in their sense of self and as a result can make great allies to one another.

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Both types appreciate mental strength and emotional stability, sharing a relationship of intellectual stimulation across a range of interests from politics to engineering.

However, as noted before, Twos and Eights have different systems of values which can make for difficult resolutions. Where Twos tend to be focused on people, and empathy, Eights are more individual focused and independent. As a result, in a Two-Eight relationship, they have different ideas about the relationship itself as a whole and where it is going.

They can find themselves moving in opposite directions on certain issues, which each struggling to understand the other's point of view - and even if understanding it, not accepting it for the values that underpin it. They can get into battles with each other these competing value systems - seemingly over the smallest issue. They mean even set tests or traps for each other in order for the other to feel empowered or in control in some way. Ultimately, at its worst, this can lead to Twos losing respect for the Eight partner as they start to see them as domineering and lacking compassion. Likewise the Eight can see their Two partner as manipulative and even vindictive.

Type 9 and Type 2 Relationships

How compatible are Type 2s in a relationship with Type 9s?

Type Two and Type Nine are some of the more similar enneagram types; both have a sense of harmony and resolving conflict, and both like to offer people help. As a result, a Two-Nine relationship can be a pairing of great warmth and outward affection to each other and to others, that each partner helps to reinforce. Twos and Nines are sociable, warm, generous and hospitable. While Twos are likely to be more interpersonally engaging, Nines are likely to have an uncomplicated directness and steadfastness that helps bring about a secure predictability in social proceedings.

Both Twos and Nines have a way of helping the other when they are down, by providing them with care or support. Nines in particular tend to be experts to calming situations down which can be especially helpful when their Type Two partner has an unhealthy level of stress. Both partners are drawn to the support of the other, and both will likely go out of they way to maintain this level of support to one another. As a result, this partnership is one of generosity and of compassionate love.

letter i in grey circle for information point

While Twos are likely to be more interpersonally engaging, Nines are likely to have an uncomplicated directness and steadfastness that helps bring about a secure predictability in social proceedings.

However, with both Types predisposed to take control or act as carer, one will ultimately have to give way to the other. The overt or subtle negotiation of this power game can cause strain on the Two-Nine relationship as well as stress to both parties, as they feel they are being manipulated or pressured into a position they don't want to be in. Since neither partner finds it easy to talk about their feelings and their concerns, this negotiation can be long and tense, and not easily resolved.

quotation marks This pairing is often not effective in resolving problems
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

Nines in particular find it difficult to speak up for their own interests and when they do eventually speak up, an unhealthy Two may not receive this criticism with humility, preferring instead to internalise it negatively and even lash out. Silent Nines are also unhelpful, as the brooding resentment and passive-aggressiveness that underlines that silence, is made evident by the Nines direct and forthright nature. This simmering tension can boil over easily, and soon the Two-Nine relationship can be one of frequent outbursts and recriminations. A partnership that previously seemed so supportive and generous, becomes one of bitterness and hurt.

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Chloe Yarwood, MSc

University of Chichester, Advanced Applied Psychology

Chloe Yarwood, MSc in Advanced Applied Psychology from University of Chichester. Specialist in personality type theory and developing valid personality questionnaires.