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Relationship by the Numbers: Which Type Combinations are Best?

When people discover the clarity the Enneagram brings to understanding self and others, one of the first questions often asked is, “Which type combinations make the best romantic couple?”

The question possesses great merit.

But it also has a shadow-side.

First the warning.

It’s tempting to use the Enneagram as a dating site that guarantees to match us up with the ideal partner. This approach has many pitfalls.

For one, used this way, we might lock-in on a certain Enneagram Type in our search for “the right one.” In the process, we may filter out a load of wonderful people endowed with qualities that bring great benefits to any relationship.

Two, this approach errors in focusing on the other, rather than self. We spend more energy on finding a partner who will meet our needs and expectations. This siphons off the energy we need to invest in growing a healthier, more mature self. The best way to attract a great partner is to be a great partner.

The question may also lead us to conclude that the partner we are currently in relationship with is a bad match for us. We may abort the growth process inherent in every relationship. This can provide an escape hatch from addressing our contribution to relationship challenges.

The short answer to what type combinations make the best couples is this: any two partners who are willing to do their own work with their personality structure.

Each Enneagram Type carries great assets as well as its unique struggles and shadow-sides. No one type is better than another. Nor is one type inherently a better match for us than another.

Each combination of types contains potential for incredible depth, strength and intimacy.

Each combination has friction points that can become destructive and painful.

The key is the willingness of each partner to engage in their respective Enneagram work. If each will allow the wisdom of the Enneagram to penetrate their awareness, enlighten their blind spots and lead them on the path toward growth and transformation, the relationship can prove quite satisfying.

For more on how to utilize the Enneagram toward better relationships, contact

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