Enneagram Type One (the Reformer)
Enneagram Type Eight (the Challenger)

What Each Type Brings to the Relationship

Enneagram Ones and Eights bring a common concern with fighting for truth and justice in their world. They both often feel (although in different ways and for different reasons) that it is up to them to stand against whatever they perceive as injustice or falseness. Both can see themselves as gallant crusaders protecting the weak, righting wrongs, and making the world a better place. In a relationship, these two types are both action-oriented, and if their attention and energy is turned toward social causes in particular, they can have a big effect on their family and their community, perhaps even their country or the world. Both bring a certain nobility of vision and a focused purpose, practicality, and perseverance in supporting whatever they believe is right. Both are willing to sacrifice a great deal to do what they believe needs to be done. For both, fairness is centrally important. (Ones bring a sense of absolute or ideal truth and justice whereas Eights bring a more practical and immediate approach to these concepts.)

The combination can be very powerful: they accomplish things with a clear cut sense of purpose and personal mission. Both are decisive and direct, although Eights bring a passion and gusto that counterbalances the One’s self-restraint and propriety. Ones can find Eights exciting, physical, and earthy-all the things that they restrain in themselves. Thus, there can be a strong attraction from both sides. Further, Eights recognize that Ones are as strong-willed and determined as they are: they cannot easily sway or bowl over Ones. Eights thus admire their conviction and are attracted to the challenge of getting closer to Ones. In many ways, these two types are opposites-the pirate and the schoolteacher-although both could learn a great deal from the other, if they are willing to listen to someone with such different values, reactions, and ways of doing things.

Potential Trouble Spots or Issues

What breaks Ones and Eights up is often the very thing that attracted them in the first place: how different they are from each other, like fire and ice. This is a relatively rare romantic pairing; it is easier for them to be friends or colleagues than to live intimately together. Both want to be in charge; both want to accomplish something significant, but they tend to disagree about the means to take. Ones tend to be self-controlled and restrained in their self-expressions and methods of doing things. They will deny themselves the pleasure of acting on their real desires and impulses if they are convinced that something they want is not right according to their moral convictions. While they may admire the brashness and roguishness of Eights and their apparent ease in going after whatever they want, Ones ultimately begin to draw a line if they see Eights going too far in the pursuit of their self-interest. Ones can begin to regard Eights as selfish, insensitive, aggressive, and morally corrupt. They may admire the outlaw’s bravado, but abhor where it leads them and how much chaos and destruction it creates in its wake. Ones can begin to see Eights as crude, untrustworthy, and violent.

On the other hand, Eights see Ones as hypocrites who preach one thing publicly while doing the opposite privately. They see Ones as rigid, self-righteous, nitpicking, and utterly unrealistic about the way the world works. Eights often want to do more outrageous things just to provoke the morally judgmental One into apoplexy: both respond with anger before they will acknowledge hurt or fear. They can both get into rigid positions and feel that they cannot back down. Violent arguments can often ensue as the relationship flies apart in personal attacks. This is one relationship that is much more difficult to fix once a certain threshold of abuse has been crossed.

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