Enneagram Type One (the Reformer)
Enneagram Type Two (the Helper)

What Each Type Brings to the Relationship

Enneagram Ones and Twos are a complementary couple since both offer the other the example of their own qualities. Both types are highly dutiful and are attracted to service roles and occupations: both may be teachers, ministers, or health care workers who have long hours and many responsibilities. One and Two couples are often professionals whose work takes them out of the house and requires the focus of their attention to be on the needs of others, not on the relationship itself or even on themselves personally. People in this kind of relationship are often unusually mature and independent and able to obtain their emotional needs from a variety of people and connections, including their professional ones. They bring high ideals, strong ethical standards, and the desire to serve others to the relationship itself, keeping the relationship strong and in touch with solid values and practical perspectives.

The relationship is built around shared values: both are on a path of some kind together. Twos bring the nurturing and feelings that Ones do not easily allow themselves: they help Ones soften and relax. On the other hand, Ones bring integrity, conscientiousness, responsibility, and consistency. They are steady, reliable, and truthful. Ones commit strongly which makes the Two feel secure and that they won’t be abandoned. Further, Twos bring warmth, a concern with people and a willingness to make exceptions to the rule for individuals in need. They are aware of suffering and work hard and generously to alleviate it wherever they can. Twos are more convivial and welcoming than Ones and can warm up the One’s more typically reserved exterior—which most Ones are glad to have happen.

Potential Trouble Spots or Issues

For as concerned about the needs of others as Ones and Twos are, ironically, they tend not to be very aware of their own needs or able to express them easily. Ones feel that life is serious business and that work must always come before play; the lower impulses of the self must be held tightly in check. Twos feel that they must take care of everyone else’s needs before they are allowed to have needs themselves. Life is about serving others and making themselves useful to so that others will need them and want them in their lives. Both Ones and Twos, therefore, find it difficult to talk about what they are actually feeling, what is actually going on in the relationship, and what they actually want. In this kind of relationship, there are often ulterior motives and unstated agendas, with no one able to admit that they are not getting what they want—much less that they might not be happy or fulfilled. For both, getting what they want feels selfish and forbidden. Ones can begin to feel disappointed by the Two’s tendency to give so much of themselves to others and to be so unregulated regarding time and attention. Twos can seem to Ones to be everywhere else serving on yet another committee or charitable group but in the home or at their job, fulfilling their primary responsibilities.

On the other hand, Twos can see Ones as too impersonal and unconcerned with others, not sympathetic or charitable enough. They can begin to be disappointed in the reality of the One’s idealism, thinking that Ones may love humanity but have little real compassion for real people. Ones can be uncomfortable with the Two’s effusiveness and need for contact; Twos can be uncomfortable with the One’s sarcasm and irritability. Both will simmer with anger that will slowly but inexorably, lead to escalating arguments. Both can begin to become condemnatory and critical of the other as the relationship drifts apart.

For further understanding about this type combination, read more about the Stress Arrow and how types One and Two behave when they are moving along it.