What is the secret ingredient that makes a relationship thrive?
Dr. Sue Johnson, who founded EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy), the most researched couple’s therapy model (1), has studied this question extensively. She has been able to distill the answer to this key question down to its bare essentials: What truly makes a relationship thrive and provides the key to long-lasting love is emotional responsiveness. What emotional responsiveness is and how it works is outlined by the acronym A.R.E.
(Note: The principles of A.R.E. can also be applied with equal effectiveness to familial relationships and friendships; however, in this article I will be addressing the romantic relationship only. For the purposes of simplicity, I will be referring to a romantic relationship with a single partner, which is not intended to exclude those in poly or open relationships.)