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Series: How to Love Your Partner (Part 1)

Method: Enneagrams

Let’s face it. We all want to feel loved by our partners. We want to feel seen and treasured. And for most of us out there, we want to do the same for our partners but may not always know how.

Throughout this series of “How to Love Your Partner”, I want to break down different guides to help us understand our partners better and ultimately learn how to hold their heart. The first part to our series is looking at how to love our partner well based on their Enneagram Number.

According to the Enneagram Institute; “The Enneagram can be seen as a set of nine distinct personality types, with each number on the Enneagram denoting one type. It is common to find a little of yourself in all nine of the types, although one of them should stand out as being closest to yourself.”

Remember; this tool is just a guide in helping you recognize what makes your partner’s heart sing. This isn’t an exact science because we as humans are variant. These categories are simply a launching pad for your ever long journey in loving your partner the best way possible.

Enneagram 1 The Reformer

Our partner; the self-controlled perfectionist. They find value in things that are “just so” and in turn find their own value in presenting as “just so”. It might seem simplistic but truly one of the best ways to love a Number 1 is vocalizing your love for them in ALL aspects of who they are… yes even the messy parts of them. In contrast when they do make a mistake, don’t respond critically. If possible, vocalize the charm you find in their mistakes. Leave little breadcrumbs of your appreciation for every part of them and you will lead them to a place of contentment and warmth by your side.

Probable Love Language: Acts of Services or Quality Time

Enneagram 2 The Helper

Our partner: the people-pleasing, caring soul who will put others’ needs before their own. The strength of our Number 2 partner is also part of their barrier to feeling connected. Since they operate in a world where they can understand what others need easily, their default belief (though not always consciously) is that everyone else can too. As a result, when you aren’t fully in tuned with their wants and needs, their assumption is that it’s intentional and this can lead to feeling unloved and resentful. Connect with your partner by paying attention to their needs. Be observant and meet their needs without them having to always ask. Finally, let them know your love for them isn’t conditioned on them taking care of you first. Give them the space to see that you enjoy helping them just as much as they do you.

Probable Love Language: Word of Affirmation or Physical Touch

Enneagram 3 The Achiever

Our partner: the pragmatic, winner. If it’s a competition, they will strive to win. If it isn’t a competition, they’ll make it one AND THEN strive to win. They find their own self-worth in the metaphorical trophies on the mantle. The obvious advice is to complement their trophies. I would encourage you to take it a step further. See past the mantle and look under the rug. See and hold their abandoned goals, faded determination, broken pride and find value in those items with them. Praise them for taking active steps in setting boundaries and watch them fully rest in the peace that your love is for them alone and any achievements they make is just a cherry on top.

Probable Love Language: Words of Affirmation or Acts of Service

Enneagram 4 The Individualist

Our partner: the expressive and unique, moody recluse. On one hand, they take pride in their creative enigma status. On the other hand, however, they can see themselves as too different and unrelatable. This can create a seemingly great emotional canyon, incapable of being bridged. Them on one side, everyone else on the other. To love this partner is to KNOW them. Be curious of what makes them tick. Take a genuine interest in who they are as they navigate that question for themselves. Remember when a Number 4 does share parts of themselves, it was an intentional act and one of the highest compliments they can give you. They are saying “I trust you to see me.” If you can answer “I do see you”, they will naturally feel loved.

Probable Love Language: Words of Affirmation or Quality Time

Enneagram 5 The Investigator

Our partner: the innovated, possessor of knowledge. Pining out the details isn’t so much of a flex for our Number 5 partner as it is their security blanket. Typically, they would rather detach and isolate in predictable circumstances than attach to someone who is unsteady and a “wild card”. Offering a secure routine in your partner’s day to day life with you will be a constant beacon of love that they’ll see in you. Remember, our 5’s are typically introverted. Gathering information from the world around them is tiring and they’ll need time to recharge. Allow them that space when they retrieve and be by their side when they emerge.

Probable Love Language: Acts of Service or Quality Time

Enneagram 6 The Loyalist

Our partner: the anxious cheerleader. If a Number 6 partner were to be a dog breed, I would argue they would be a chihuahua. They are incredibly suspicious of anyone who is seen as an outsider, and it will take some time to be considered an insider. But once you are claimed by a Number 6, they can be your biggest defender, advocate and best friend. They will fight for you. Since trust is a slow build, one of the most important things to do to love this partner is to NEVER LIE to them. Be transparent. Be dependable. Embrace the “watch my back and I’ll watch yours” mentality with your partner and they will feel loved.

Probable Love Language: Acts of Service or Quality Time

Enneagram 7 The Enthusiast

Our partner: the scattered wild child. They are a prime example of someone with F.O.M.O (fear of missing out). They are the partner that makes last minute plans because they saw an event pop up on their social media feed and they MUST attend. Their “Happy Meter” is a priority to keep full. So how do we love someone who is already full of love from life? Primarily, don’t take the wind out of their sails. Get onboard and pull up anchor. For bonus points, successfully be a grounding rod for them so they can slow down, without you bringing them down.

Probable Love Language: Words of Affirmation or Quality Time

Enneagram 8 The Challenger

Our partner: the willful, confrontational bull in a China shop. If there is one thing to know about the Number 8 partner, it is they don’t like to be perceived as weak. Since this is an insecurity, be sure to avoid humiliating your partner in front of others at all costs! That isn’t to say, to not keep them accountable or encourage them to grow. When you do just don’t do it in front of others and be sure to voice your steadfast belief that they CAN grow. When a problem arises, it’s important to recognize that your partner isn’t going to ask for help. Be sure to find an opportunity to jump in and help them without taking their power away. It’s a delicate balance with worth wild results.

Probable Love Language: Words of Affirmation or Acts of Service

Enneagram 9 The Peacemaker

Our partner: the agreeable and easygoing mediator. They love harmony and are quick to trust. They will “go with the flow” to keep the peace and avoid confrontation like the black plague. For any of us who have been in a relationship for any significant amount of time know that arguments DO happen. If you want your Number 9 partner to feel loved, the answer isn’t to just wave away the issue and pretend it never existed. The best way to help them feel loved in the mist of conflict is to show them, you are a safe person to have conflict with. An argument with you doesn’t mean it’ll end in disconnection or judgment or separation. Allow them to hold your hand through disagreements and they will readily hold your hand through just about anything.

Probable Love Language: Physical Touch or Quality Time

Additional resources used for this blog: Instagram handle enneagramspace

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