Due to both types having well-developed communication skills and a focus on sociality and relationships, the Enneagram Type 2’s compatibility with Type 3 can be promising. They may not be ideal mates, and threes rank neither well nor badly on the scale of potential mates for Twos. However, if a Two-Three pairing actively uses Enneagram personality typing to gain knowledge and understanding of each other, they’ll be better equipped to recognize and resolve issues that may arise in their relationship, smoothing out potential points of friction before the relationship reaches a breaking point.
On this page, you’ll find a helpful overview of Enneagram Type 2 and 3 romantic pairings, with information on how the two interact, their compatibility, potential issues the couple might face, and how Enneagram wings will play into the relationship dynamics.
Type 2 Compatibility With Type 3
Let’s see what’s the compatibility score and how wings and growth can affect a relationship between Type 2 and Type 3.
In a survey where participants were asked to rate the attractiveness of traits of different enneatypes, Type 3 ranked fourth on the list of attractiveness for Type 2s, with a mutual compatibility percentage of 47%.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that it is impossible to factor in every characteristic of a potential partner in a survey of this type, especially since each partner will lean closer toward one wing, which could skew the attraction of any two types. For example, many enneatypes find their own type particularly attractive, and it’s possible that an Enneagram Type 2w3 and a Type 3w2 could be similar enough that their attraction is deeper than what their base types would suggest.
Wings and Growth
When associating wings and growth with Enneagram Type 2, a slightly different pattern could emerge. Enneagram Type 2 compatibility with Type 3 might, in fact, be a 2w1 compatibility with 3w2 or 3w4. Or, it could be a 2w3 with 3w2 or 3w4.
In growth or integration, compatibilities may be further altered due to the redirection of each personality and its dominant wings. For example, Enneagram Type 2 integrates to 4, and dominant wings of 1 and 3 would integrate to 7 and 6, respectively; Enneagram Type 3 integrates to 6, and dominant wings of 2 and 4 would integrate to 4 and 1.
Conversely, in times of stress, dominant types and wings would be affected by their disintegration types. This means while personality compatibility may not seem great at the start, when fully analyzed, this could make all the difference. And the Enneagram Personality model is all about growth.
Anxiety and Avoidance
In a study published in 2010, a team of researchers looked at integrating attachment theory with the Enneagram by examining the attachment styles of different Enneagram types. The study focused specifically on the anxiety and avoidance subsystems of attachment.
According to the study, Enneagram 2s tend to exhibit high anxiety and low avoidance attachment behaviors, while Threes show both low anxiety and low avoidance.
What Each Type Brings to the Relationship
When an Enneagram Type 2 and Type 3 meet, the resulting match could prove highly successful. Both types are good with people, friendly and outgoing. They both put a lot of emphasis on personal appearances, but this is because they place a lot of importance on how others see them. Alongside these similarities, each type also brings their own unique traits to the relationship.
Enneagram Type 2: The Helper
It may sound clichéd, but Type 2s love to be loved and need to be needed. They don’t aspire to be the center of attention, being more than happy to facilitate and support their partner’s ambitions instead. As long as they feel appreciated by the person who matters most, they’re happy to remain on the sidelines, encouraging, championing, and cheering for their mate.
Twos are devoted and affectionate with their partners, friends, and family. They’re also reliable, always remembering birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates. Though their emotional neediness and desire for appreciation may seem smothering to some, the care they show in their relationships is quite genuine.
Enneagram Type 3: The Achiever
Competitive, pragmatic, and hardworking, Type 3s pour abundant energy into achieving their goals, whether in their home life or at work. They are driven by status and an aversion to failure, and while they project extreme confidence at all times, they feel a deep inner need to be respected by others. They want to be seen as having the perfect life and the perfect relationship and will likely put a lot of effort into resolving any issues, so their relationship remains successful.
When it comes to their achievements, Type 3s are efficient and organized. They exude energy and are great at motivating those around them. However, they are prone to discounting their emotional life in favor of focusing on career goals. Their tendency to identify themselves through their successes rather than their emotional connections can be deeply hurtful to their loved ones.
The Enneagram wings of both partners in a relationship can strongly affect Enneagram Type 2’s compatibility with Type 3. This effect could prove negative or positive for the pair.
Enneagram Type 2w1
When a Type 2 has a Type 1 wing, they may be less interested in social approval. While they are still driven by the need to be helpful to their partner, they may be less helpful at facilitating the kinds of widespread public attention Type 3s crave.
Enneagram Type 2w3 and Type 3w2
Because of the intermixing of traits, these two Enneagram types can seem very similar, though they’ll never be exactly the same. While their dominant type will always hold the most influence, 2w3s will show some traits of an Enneagram 3, while 3w2s will seem at times, much closer to an Enneagram 2. Enneagram Type 3w4
If a Type 3 has a primary 4 wing, they may be less inclined to seek the limelight. However, since Type 4s are the least compatible type for Type 2s, this partnership would need continuous work and investment from both partners, not only to help the two understand one another but for them to understand and become the healthiest versions of themselves within the relationship.
Positives of This Pairing
In some ways, Enneagram 2 and 3s are perfectly complementary types within a relationship. What Twos need, Threes can naturally provide, and vice versa.
Type 3s yearn for public appreciation of their successes. They need to have the spotlight on them and be seen by everyone as they succeed. On the other hand, Type 2s are more comfortable being the ones to operate the spotlight. They prefer to support their partner while staying in the background, satisfied in the knowledge that they are the secret to their partner’s success.
When Twos and Threes set goals together, Type 3 will likely drive the project, with their Type 2 partner backing them at every step. While Three might ignore their emotional needs when chasing their goals, Two will be there to offer warmth, kindness, and encouragement. The knowledge that they’re being supported makes Type 3 feel like they can take a breather, which in turn makes Type 2 feel helpful and accomplished.
Issues may arise in a relationship between a Type 2 and Type 3 if the Three neglects to credit their partner and give them the appreciation and recognition they thrive on. Since Threes flourish on how others perceive their accomplishments, they may hesitate to transfer glory to their mate. They may even see their Type 2 partner as trying to take credit for their own feats. In turn, Twos could view their Type 3 partner as too goal-driven and believe they do not prioritize the relationship as much as they should.
When Twos feel unappreciated, they can withdraw and become depressed, losing interest in how they present themselves and putting a strain on their relationship with image-conscious Three. They may also respond to a lack of gratitude with feelings of spite, becoming intractable and unlikely to forgive. When truly desperate, they may even try to erode their partner’s self-esteem to make their Type 3 partner feel more dependent on them.
To keep this relationship functional, Twos need to find ways to share their concerns without becoming too emotional and making their Type 3 partner feel harshly judged. Threes should be careful not to overlook their partner’s needs and contributions, and show regular appreciation for what their partner does for them. They must also avoid becoming critical or abrasive during disagreements or difficult conversations.
At their best, Enneagram Type 2 and 3 can make a dazzling couple, perfectly suited to meeting each other’s needs. In Type 2, Threes find a partner who will support them as they pursue their goals, while Twos can bask in pride as their partner builds a beautiful life for the two of them. To people on the outside, Three’s confidence and Two’s friendliness makes the couple charming and sociable, a dazzling pair that’s the life of any party.
However, problems can emerge for this coupling when Threes fail to recognize their partner’s contribution, believing it insignificant and not worth noting. When this happens, Twos feel overlooked and unimportant, and are left bitterly craving recognition for their selfless devotion to their partner’s goals.
If a Type 2 and 3 couple finds themselves heading in this direction, understanding the unhealthy tendencies of their own and their partner’s Enneagram types can not only help them understand the specific stresses being put on their relationship, but also give them a clearer picture of the areas of personal growth each partner needs to focus on to head off disaster.
To discover your Enneagram type, complete the Enneagram Personality Test.