When it comes to knowing what your ideal partner is like, there's what you think you need and what you actually need. Sometimes they're the same thing, but many times the perfect partner has traits and values you’ve never even considered and can balance your strengths and struggles perfectly. One way to look at this is by considering what every Enneagram type needs in a relationship.
According to this system, there are nine personality types, each of which centers around a core belief. These core beliefs are the lens through which each type perceives the world and the people around them. With this in mind, it's easy to see how your Enneagram can actually have a pretty significant impact on what you need in a partner.
Not sure what your Enneagram type is? Take the test. You might just learn something fascinating about yourself and the person who's right for you.
Type 1: The Perfectionist
Type Ones takes life very seriously. They're highly critical and see life as black and white, feeling as though it's their duty to right the wrongs of the world. This might come off as sanctimonious, if it weren’t for the fact that they judge themselves just as harshly, constantly fearing that they're failing or defective in some way. That's why they need a partner who sees them for who they are and isn’t afraid to speak up and remind them that they are a good person, in terms of both their morals and their heart. It's equally important they find someone who encourages them not to be so hard on themselves. They also need a partner who knows how to bring levity to a situation, be present at the moment, and help them to loosen up and just have a little fun in life.
Type 2: The Helper
Type Two lives and breathes to take care of others, particularly the people in their lives. They're deeply empathetic and warm, so people feel very comfortable unloading all their thoughts and needs on Type Two. While they're happy to take it all on, they do so in part because they fear that, if they didn’t, they wouldn't be appreciated, wanted, or worthy of love. Their identity and self-worth come from taking care of others, to the point that sometimes they forget who they are and what they need. As a result, in an ideal relationship Type Two would find a partner who gives back as much as they receive. They'd also not be shy about reminding their partner how much they appreciate everything about them, and not just for all the kind and generous things they do, but simply for who they are, unconditionally.
Type 3: The Performer
Type Three is highly ambitious and driven. They channel all their emotional energy into achievement and are confident about following their instincts. Where they struggle is in separating their success or failure from their self worth. They forget that they're more than a set of goals that they have or haven’t achieved yet. As a result, they benefit greatly from a relationship with a partner who both appreciates and validates their success, while encouraging them to pursue their dreams while. At the same time, the right partner will remind them that they are loved, valuable, and not a failure, even when they fall short.
Type 4: The Romantic
Type Four is a creative type. They tend toward the melancholy and use their creativity and artistic nature to seek purpose and a feeling of wholeness. They're very concerned with being authentic at all times, even if that means allowing others to see their struggles. When it comes to romance, they are very romantic and passionate about their partners. They lead with their heart on their sleeve. Because of this, they need a partner who both has empathy for Type Four’s depth of emotion, but who will also call them out when they fall into playing the victim. They also need a partner who encourages them to get out of their head a bit and be present and enjoy the small, pleasurable moments as they come.
Type 5: The Observer
Type Five is highly intellectual. Though they're highly perceptive, they tend to be much more introverted, and keep to themselves. They're knowledge seekers who enjoy scholarly pursuits and require a lot of personal space to pursue their interests. On the one hand, they don’t have a lot of bandwidth for social activities, but on the other, that can lead them to be somewhat lonely. This is why it's so important for Type Five to find a partner who both respects their passion for their interests and need for space, but also who adds some warmth and emotion to their lives — without being clingy.
Type 6: The Loyal Skeptic
Getting close to a Type Six can be a bit of a difficult task, as this personality type is very cautious and a bit suspicious. They take things slowly to give themselves time to observe and assess others or not the people entering their life are friendly if they have ill intent. They're always keeping an eye out for any potential problem and planning to be sure that they have a solution ready. Trust is something that must be earned and that takes time with a Type Six. So, when they're in a relationship, they thrive with a partner who shares their concern for caution. That partner should also value safety and security, and appreciate Type Six's gifts for always being prepared. Their partner also needs to be a good communicator who's clear about their intentions and feelings, and whose actions always align with what they say.
Type 7: The Epicure
Type Seven's a bit of a free spirit. They're driven by their interests, often having difficulty focusing on a pursuit for long. There's just too much to see and do in this life, and they can’t be held to just one thing. They have a natural optimism and don't worry much about the future; they just know they don't want to be limited in the present. They don't care about what others think of them, and they just want to get the most out of life. This sometimes leads them to miss out on things that are only truly appreciated with time, as they're off to the next shiny thing. All of this means that they need a partner who's patient with Type Seven’s frequently shifting interests, and who shares their optimism and interest in exploring new experiences. However, they also need someone who can be a steadying force when they lack direction.
Type 8: The Protector
Type Eight is a natural leader. They have an abundance of confidence, so they take charge of any situation they're in. They're energetic and believe that the best way to do something is their way. They pride themselves on being fierce protectors of the people in their lives. As believers in fairness and justice, they can't bear to see people being mistreated. They're the first to step in if they sense someone's being bullied, although they don't realize that they can come off as a bit intimidating. Because of this, they need a partner who isn't a pushover and can stand their ground when they believe they're right. That being said, their ideal partner also needs to know when to pick their battles and share Type Eight's belief in fairness.
Type 9: The Mediator
Type Nine's highly empathetic and can see where people are coming from, which makes them great mediators. They're natural peacemakers that see all sides of a situation and, above all, they just want there to be harmony and peace in their lives. They dislike conflict greatly and work hard to avoid it. They love connecting with people on a deep level and tend to see the best in others. Where they struggle is in getting motivated in their own lives, where they often give way to inertia. As a result, they're best paired with someone who helps inspire them to grow and be their best selves. They also need a partner who's stable, reliable, and can let Type Nine feel safe in the relationship. It's also important that their partners are good communicators who can help encourage them to understand that all conflict isn't necessarily bad; it's an essential tool for growth.
It’s ultimately up to you to decide what makes someone the right person for you, but knowing what you need based on your Enneagram type can help point you in the right direction. It can even help open your eyes to someone special that you might have otherwise missed.