What do Enneagram Twos Secretly Want in Relationships?

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on September 10, 2021

Our relationships are often a reflection of ourselves; of something within us that we can’t see clearly. Our friends and relationships often offer us something we can’t yet provide for ourselves. While that could be a recipe for codependency, it mostly is an opportunity to see a strength practiced in action and find a way to adopt it for ourselves, instead of relying on someone else to provide it for us. 

Type Twos focus on taking care of the people they care about the most. When you are inside an Enneagram Two’s inner circle, that is how you feel—taken care of. Warm, supportive and nurturing, Twos are quick to bake a cake for your birthday, show up with flowers at the hospital or offer to stay late to finish a project. But beneath that caring smile is someone who fears the slightest sign of rejection and anxiously needs to feel needed. 

Watch my youtube video talking about what Enneagram Twos want in relationships here.

Enneagram Type Twos define themselves by the status of their relationships, which is why they relentlessly focus on ensuring that others like them. But it is a one way street and they never really know if you truly like them in return. So in friendships and relationships, Twos secretly want to receive authentic love. 

As a friend or partner of a Two, you can help in the following ways:

1. Positivity

Enneagram Twos are sensitive to the slightest indication of rejection. They need a lot of positive feedback about the relationship and themselves in order to really receive it. So compliments are essential for Twos. 

Here are some suggestions of how you can show your Enneagram Two more positivity:

  • Let them know exactly how you appreciate them
  • Notice and thank them for the small things they do for you (everytime)
  • Triple the amount of compliments you give your Two
  • Say “I love you” regularly
  • Before giving any negative feedback, let them know how grateful you are to have them in your life

2. Permission

Twos need direct and clear permission to prioritise their needs and take care of themselves. They fear that by taking time for themselves, they risk being rejected by the very person they want to be close to.  

You can help your Enneagram Two by:

  • Actively encouraging them to take time for themselves
  • Encouraging them to say no and set boundaries, with you and others 
  • Let them know they will be strengthening the relationship by doing so
  • Repeat this often, it will take time for a Two to really let this sink in and make a change

3. Noticing 

Take the time to really notice all the things your Two does for you. They do a lot, much of which just happens in the background. But when they really need your help, they won’t ask directly. So it is important to notice the signs that your Enneagram Two would like you to help and step in and provide it. 

Take time to:

  • Really observe how your Two takes care of you and prioritize your relationship
  • Notice when they start to complain or suggest in a roundabout way that you need to do something
  • Not ask if they want your help, simply step in and provide it

To help your Enneagram Type Two receive authentic love in your relationship, verbalise your gratitude, appreciation and affection on a very regular basis. Actively give them permission to prioritize themselves and notice the signs of when they need help and offer it without question. 

Samantha Mackay

Samantha is a certified Enneagram coach at Individuo and educator at Truity. She has found knowing her personality type (ENTP / Enneagram 7) invaluable for recovering from burnout and for working with her anxiety, chronic illnesses and pain. To work with Samantha visit www.individuo.life

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About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.

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The Five Love Languages® is a registered trademark of The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, which has no affiliation with this site. You can find more information about the five love languages here.

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