The Most Common Question People Ask About The Enneagram



The Enneagram is a tool that helps us see the world and people through nine different lenses of personality. It isn’t magic, but I can be very insightful. It’s also not a crystal ball to predict the future or what any one person will do in a given situation. Think of it more like an X-ray. It can help us see things that are broken or in need of attention. And while an X-ray might have some ability to predict things about the future, the primary role is to look at what has already happened, in the past.


But when I teach the enneagram to groups of people, there is one question that almost always gets asked. You’ve might have already thought about it. In one form or another, someone always asks who they should, or should not, be romantically involved with, based on their enneagram number. Others ask less intense versions of this, such as, “which numbers work best together,” or “are there certain numbers that don’t get along?” And now, I’m sure you’re wondering the same thing…


Here’s a bit of good news for you: there is no combination of numbers that automatically results in failure. There is no automatic incompatibility. That’s not to say that all relationships will work, or even that they are all the same. Every combination of numbers has its own unique challenges, but none that heavily outweigh any other. The real key here is not what your enneagram number is, but how emotionally healthy you (and your partner) are.

Emotionally healthy? This may sound like a foreign phrase to you…it did to me! There are many different kinds of health, and our society is greatly concerned with many of them. Our physical health is a huge deal. It’s normal to have yearly check-ups, and in many cities it is strange if you don’t spend time at the gym. The physical health industry is huge, and continues to grow rapidly. Spiritual health is on the radar of many, and the options of groups, methods, and venues that offer spiritual health continue to grow. Mental health has even been pushed to the forefront of our societal discourse in the last 5–10 years. But emotional health? Well, that one hasn’t quite caught on yet. So what does it mean to be emotionally healthy? Or you might say, emotionally mature? Here’s my definition:


Emotional maturity/health is not needing everyone else to see the world the way you do.


Emotional immaturity/unhealth is the inability to see the world from other people’s point of view.


Emotionally healthy? This may sound like a foreign phrase to you…it did to me! There are many different kinds of health, and our society is greatly concerned with many of them. Our physical health is a huge deal. It’s normal to have yearly check-ups, and in many cities, it is strange if you don’t spend time at the gym. The physical health industry is huge and continues to grow rapidly. Spiritual health is on the radar of many, and the options of groups, methods, and venues that offer spiritual health continue to grow. Mental health has even been pushed to the forefront of our societal discourse in the last 5–10 years. But emotional health? Well, that one hasn’t quite caught on yet. So what does it mean to be emotionally healthy? Or you might say, emotionally mature? Here’s my definition::


But when a person is emotionally healthy, no matter what their enneagram number, they will bring health to their relationships. Romantically speaking, any two numbers can thrive together, given that they are emotionally healthy. Emotional unhealth or immaturity, however, can torpedo even the most potential-laden relationship.


The Enneagram is a tool that helps us see the world and people through nine different lenses of personality. It isn’t magic, but I can be very insightful. It’s also not a crystal ball to predict the future or what any one person will do in a given situation. Think of it more like an X-ray. It can help us see things that are broken or in need of attention. And while an X-ray might have some ability to predict things about the future, the primary role is to look at what has already happened, in the past.