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Enneagram Type 6 Relationships: In Love and Friendships

How to be in a relationship with a Type 6 Enneagram

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Every Enneagram type relates to other enneagram types in different ways. Type 6s 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 6 with every other Enneagram type, including how they relate to other Type 6 helping you understand how to have healthy Type 6 relationships.


Type 6 Compatibility Analysis

What is the best match for an Enneagram Type 6?

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 Six relationships

relationships compatibility

What this chart shows

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

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

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

Notes:
  • 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”.

Notes:
  • 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 6 Relationships

How compatible are Type 6s in a relationship with Type 1s?

A Type 6 and Type 1 relationship may vary considerably, as they are alike in some ways, but not in others. Both types work hard and are serious in their world outlook. Sixes are notoriously loyal and diligent and Ones are also consistent and committed. Therefore, both types have a strong sense of duty that if they both share can be very fulfilling.

Type Ones bring a sense of focus and decision-making to a One-Six relationship. As a result, they will often act as leader within the pair. The concern for consistent and logic that Ones produce can have a helpful impact on their Six partner who sometimes lack this quality.

quotation marks Type Ones, with a focus on making decisions, will often act as leader within the pair.
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

Sixes bring a greater sense of kindness, warmth, and generosity to the relationship that can help open the Type One partner up. It can also act as a useful buffer against the Ones’ unceasing certainty about all things. Since Sixes are more socially desirable than Ones on the whole, a Type 1 and Type 6 relationship can be very strong as a pairing as they are both stable and desirable for outsiders.

letter i in grey circle for information point

A Type 1 and Type 6 relationship can be very strong as a pairing as thy are both stable and desirable for outsiders.

However, if there is stress in the relationship, Type Ones become more hard-nosed and judgmental of their partner, which often results in outright criticism. The need for constant work and little play, combined with consistent criticism will distant the Six partner considerably. Sixes then might start to feel insecure with the relationship entirely. Also, when Sixes increase in stress, they become more emotionally unstable and insecure — a toxic mix when the partner is being overly critical. With a critical Type One partner, the Type Six can spiral into anxiety and insecurity. The entire relationship can then degrade under the strain of these competing forces.

When Sixes get more anxious, they get more defensive and the hard work and consistency that the Type One is craving is no longer there. This leads to the Type One being disappointed in their Type Six partner. Ones then become isolated and indifferent, provoking an overly emotional response from their Type Six partner and then blame them on their outburst as immaturity. These factors can easily end the relationship so is a factor to be conscious of when stress levels become unhealthy.


Type 2 and Type 6 Relationships

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

Type 6 and Type 2 relationships can become quite strained if not carefully managed. Generous Type Twos easily become willing partners in the underdog campaigns of Type Twos. Type Sixes, accustomed to seeking out reassurance from significant others, welcome the attentiveness and devotion of their Type Two partners.

Type Twos and Type Sixes both value reciprocity. A Type Six swept away by a Type Two may feel that finally someone reliable is there for them. The loyalty and gratitude of a contented Type Six feeds a Type Two soul, and positive feelings perpetuate.

Loyalists and Helpers often complement each other as described above, but just as often their courtships go awry. Type Sixes sometimes doubt the sincerity of Type Twos, who assess their own self-worth based on how helpful they are to others. A sceptical Type Six will want to test a Type Two suitor's motives to find out if they are as altruistic as they appear to be. A Type Two operating at an unhealthy level will quickly take their efforts elsewhere in a quest for more immediate appreciation.

Questioning Loyalists, skilled in uncovering hidden truths, can guide Type Twos in healthy introspection, helping the Helper to clarify where their real motives lie. Type Sixes in relationship with Type Twos learn to balance suspicion and fear with trust and gratitude.

quotation marks A sceptical Type Six will want to test a Type Two suitor's motives to find out if they are as altruistic as they appear to be.
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 3 and Type 6 Relationships

How compatible are Type 6s in a relationship with Type 3s?

Type Sixes and Type Threes don't usually attract but have the capacity to be a great source of growth for one another. Industrious Type Threes work hard for the status and recognition that validates their accomplishment-based sense of self-worth, while Type Sixes often struggle with performance anxiety, doubting the sincerity of those who praise their efforts. Type Threes feel anxious when Type Sixes bring up difficult conversations, and in turn, Type Sixes tend to feel nervous around Type Threes as their emphasis on action feels like constant testing. Action-oriented Type Threes are much more comfortable demonstrating than discussing feelings, so to have to spell things out feels like failure.

As Type Six and Type Three share a line of integration, they are uniquely positioned to support each other's growth. Type Threes grow when they can set their internal doubts aside and independently pursue a course of action. Recognition-driven Type Threes learn the value of depending on others and the satisfaction in accomplish goals that are more altruistic, although perhaps less glorious.

quotation marks As Type Six and Type Three share a line of integration, they are uniquely positioned to support each other's growth.
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

However, this pairing can bring out some of the worst in each if they are not stable and happy. Both wish to be socially accepted, both have a insecurity around this, and this can became competitive. If this deteriorates sufficiently, then each partner can become dishonest and evasive, avoiding confronting their feelings and resolving their problems. Slowly but surely, they will fall apart from each other.

letter i in grey circle for information point

Each partner can become dishonest and evasive, avoiding confronting their feelings and resolving their problems.

Fortunately, when Loyalists and Achievers do find enough common ground to stick together, they both discover opportunities to grow. Following their Type Three partner's lead, a Type Six learns to follow through on important goals, facing down a fear of success that can be quite debilitating. A dedicated Type Six's loyalty can give a Type Three permission to slow down along with the space to explore the feelings behind their need for recognition.


Type 4 and Type 6 Relationships

How compatible are Type 3s in a relationship with Type 4s?

Underdog Type Sixes and expressive Type Fours share a strong identification with the depths of profound emotions. A Type 4 and Type 6 relationship can cultivate a rich sense of purpose and meaning, embarking on a journey made up of emotional highs as well as lows. Although these two have the potential to weave together a cohesive world view based on their shared struggles, they come to it from different motivations. The goal of the Loyalist Type Six is to create security out of uncertainty, while the Individualist Type Four longs to rise from anonymity to distinction.

Feelings of vulnerability on both can wear down this Type 4 and Enneagram Type 6 relationship. A type Fours feel attacked when their Type Six partner wants to discuss their flaws, though the Loyalist may merely want to have a frank discussion in order to offer support. The on-again-off-again affection of an ambivalent Type Four can be quite upsetting to a Type Six, who expects loyalty throughout the rough patches.

letter i in grey circle for information point

Type Fours tend to feel attacked when their Type Six partner wants to discuss their flaws, though the Loyalist may merely want to have a frank discussion in order to offer support.

However, this pairing can bring out some of the worst in each if they are not stable and happy. Both wish to be socially accepted, both have a insecurity around this, and this can became competitive. If this deteriorates sufficiently, then each partner can become dishonest and evasive, avoiding confronting their feelings and resolving their problems. Slowly but surely, they will fall apart from each other.

An Enneagram Type 6 relationship with a Type 4 can be successful if the Type Four has developed the capacity to examine their own flaws, openly and honestly, together with their supportive Type Six partner. It's also important for Loyalists to understand and accept that although their Individualist partners will retreat from time to time (the adage that absence makes the heart grow fonder is never truer than it is of Type Fours), they will return refreshed and committed as ever.


Type 5 and Type 6 Relationships

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

Successful Type 5 and Type 6 relationships are founded on communication, commitment to endurance, and shared understandings as well as emotional and physical bonds. Type Sixes, often imaginative worriers, welcome the calming presence of Type Fives. Type Fives are not as prone to black-and-white thinking, and they create space for their Type Six partners to rest in neutrality rather than hastily choosing sides. With Type Sixes, solitary Type Fives have an opportunity to practice interdependence.

For a Type Five, nothing is more terrifying than to have another person depend on them. Type Sixes, on the other hand, easily step into the role of a protector or provider while constantly looking for reassuring signs that their partners are equally invested in the relationships.

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Type Fives are not as prone to black-and-white thinking, and they create space for their Type Six partners to rest in neutrality rather than hastily choosing sides.

However, Type Sixes easily slip into worst-case thinking. They like to have everything out in the open, including emotions, to make sure nothing is wrong. Type Fives withdraw from strong emotions and may try to balance out the situation by becoming even more impassive. Loyalists, whether anguished or exuberant, perceive a worrying distance when stoic Type Fives don't match their emotional expressiveness. When issues come up, Type Sixes may misunderstand a Five's silence as an admission of guilt.

quotation marks Type Sixes, whether anguished or exuberant, perceive a worrying distance when stoic Type Fives don't match their emotional expressiveness.
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

Type Fives fear being smothered and engulfed in the bottomless well of needs that a partnership represents. With most Type Sixes these fears are unfounded; a simple display of affection, quick and painless, can go quite a long way. When Type Sixes express their needs clearly and calmly taking care not to overwhelm their Type Five Partners, Type Fives learn the life-changing lesson that others actually can depend on them.


Double Type 6 Relationships

How compatible are double Type 6 relationships?

Double Type Six relationships are particularly common and likely to be successful. It can be refreshing to meet someone else who understands the importance of establishing trust and agreement and is willing to sit down with hard questions. In a double Enneagram Type 6 relationship, heart-to-heart discussions quickly establish camaraderie, especially when the two are united for a cause.

When a Type Six sees their fellow Type Six all into a spiral of fear and doubt, exaggerating anxieties, they know that what is needed is to stay with difficult questions until satisfying answers are reached and problems are properly dealt with, or at least brought back down to realistic and manageable proportions.

quotation marks In a double Enneagram Type 6 relationship, heart-to-heart discussions quickly establish camaraderie, especially when the two are united for a cause.
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

However, Type Six couples may run into trouble when one identifies with the other's fears instead of taking the role of a helpful outsider. Two Type Sixes feeding each other's anxieties and doubts can create a dark pseudo-reality that is difficult to escape. This danger is easily averted as long as the Sixes are aware of it, particularly if they have gone down that road once already.

letter i in grey circle for information point

Two Type Sixes feeding each other's anxieties and doubts can create a dark pseudo-reality that is difficult to escape.

Fortunately, a cherished dream that they are working toward can help them maintain a positive outlook. Routine activities such as outings with another couple can also help keep a Type Six couple's propensity for cynical thought in check as they share their questions and observations with friends who are outside the relationship.


Type 7 and Type 6 Relationships

How compatible are Type 6s in a relationship with Type 7s?

While cautious Type Sixes prepare for the worst, fun-loving Type Sevens deal with their fear of pain by planning exciting and pleasurable experiences. This pairing of opposites does not need to be as doomed as it may first appear, especially if the Type Seven leans into their six wing and the Type Six has a robust seven wing.

A Type Seven's fear of being pinned down by commitments can be unnerving for Type Sixes who want to be reassured that entrusting a new partner with their affection won't lead to betrayal, so effective communication is one early and crucial challenge in Type 7 and Type 6 relationships.

Pinned down or planning?

A Type Seven's fear of being pinned down by commitments can be unnerving for Type Sixes who want to be reassured that entrusting a new partner with their affection won't lead to betrayal.

However, the unchecked imagination of a worried Type Six overemphasizes difficult times ahead, and Type Sevens often use positivity to distract them from the severity of problems. Using effective communication, a Type Six – Type Seven couple can bring each other back to a more realistic middle ground.

quotation marks Growth occurs when an Enthusiast learns from their Loyalist partner to stay with problems long enough to devise real solutions.
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

Ineffective communication, however, will leave a Loyalist believing that their Enthusiast partner doesn't care about important issues while the Enthusiast comes away with the impression that their Loyalist is hopelessly stuck in negativity. Quick thinking Type Sevens can be a great source of solutions. A dismayed Type Six will observe that most of the ideas their Type Seven partner offers aren't exactly appropriate, and a common complaint is that the Type Seven has not taken time to fully understand the problem before trying to be rid of it. A Type Seven's helpfulness can feel like the brush-off to a sincerely worried Type Six. Growth occurs when an Enthusiast learns from their Loyalist partner to stay with problems long enough to devise real solutions.


Type 8 and Type 6 Relationships

How compatible are Type 6s in a relationship with Type 8s?

Types Six and Type Eight share a belief that the world is full of danger, and both see themselves as protectors and defenders for the disadvantaged. Sixes admire the strength and courage of larger-than-life Type Eights, while Type Eights value the loyalty of Type Sixes. In a Type 8 and Type 6 relationship, the Challenger usually takes the more active role while the Loyalist, behind the scenes, creates the agenda and serves as strategic advisor. This often sets the scene for a brains-and-bronze duo.

quotation marks Eights usually takes the more active role. Sixes often act as strategic advisor. This often sets the scene for a brains-and-bronze duo.
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

Both types are among the most emotionally expressive. Direct, no-frills communication is important to both, although type Eights are more convinced by what one does rather than what one says whereas Type Sixes gain reassurance through deep conversations.

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When stressed, a Type Eight may provoke their partner purely for the challenge of experiencing their wrath.

However, Challengers expect that there will be a certain amount of conflict in their relationships, and they don't shy away from it. They feel perfectly comfortable expressing and witnessing anger, but this often looks like a terrifying loss of control to cautious Type Sixes. At unhealthy levels, an Eight may even try to provoke their partner's wrath because they don't feel that they have fully seen a person until they've witnessed the full range of raw emotions.

On the scale of fight to flight, Type Eights are fighters. Type Sixes, on the other hand, prefer to resolve interpersonal differences through appeasement. In the eyes of a Type Eight, the Type Six's need for frequent reassurance looks like weakness. If these couples can get past characterizing each other as wimps and bullies, Loyalists learn to stand up for their own needs without capitulating while Challengers learn to empathise with and respect a world view different from their own.


Type 9 and Type 6 Relationships

How do Type 9 and Type 6 get along in relationships?

Type 9 and Type 6 relationships can be supportive and intriguing. The loyalty of a Type Six is either earned or inspired. Complacent Type Nines rarely rouse suspicion or allegiance, and so they escape the attention of Type Sixes more often than not. When they do form relationships, Loyalists and Peacemakers may indulge in easy-going companionship for years before deciding to commit.

As two of the three points in the Enneagram's central triangle, Loyalists and Peacemakers share two arrows of integration/disintegration. Traveling along these lines in response to the events of their lives is what often galvanizes their relationships. Placid Type Nines, who have a tendency to ignore problems and put off decisions until they finally wake up to a crisis, move to point six when something must be done. In response, a Type Nine's Type Six partner will move to point three, the point of decisive action, when called upon to champion the Type Nine's cause. When in motion, Loyalists and Peacemakers are capable of balancing, supporting, and complementing each other beautifully.

letter i in grey circle for information point

When in motion, Type 9 and 6 relationships are capable of balancing, supporting, and complementing each other beautifully.

However, this pairing can sometimes be uncommunicative to each other, as both struggle with talking about what is on their minds. If no one takes the initiative, there can be a stalemate of sorts, where both partners become stubborn and defensive, and the issues between them remain unresolved. And since both types dislike change, the incentive to be the first to engage with the issues can become even harder for them to go about repairing and improving.

quotation marks Both Type Sixes and Type Nines struggle with starting an engagement to combat issues that they have.
Chloe Yarwood, MSc

Nevertheless, as the two get comfortable with one another and settle into the routines of daily home life, subtle problems can develop. Type Sixes do best with partners who help keep their active imaginations in check and who help them maintain a positive outlook. Agreeable and empathetic Type Nines are apt to forget themselves as they take on the views and attitudes of those closest to them. After some time, a Type 9 and Type 6 relationship can start to look like two Type Sixes caught up in patterns of doubt and cynicism.


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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.