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The Orange Peel Theory Might Not Be The Best Way To Assess Your Relationship 

The Orange Peel Theory Might Not Be The Best Way To Assess Your Relationship 

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I have not one but many bones to pick with Gen Z and their toxic, unhealthy dating patterns. Nope, I’m not a bitter millennial who is being condescending. I am just sick of the chaotic dating world and its many toxic patterns. And if all the existing dating trends weren’t enough, we have a new one on the block – the orange peel theory

Not only do Gen Zs fail to value intimacy, but they are also unhealthily obsessed with validation and social media, allowing them to literally dictate their lives.  

It is no secret that social media has normalized all the existing dating patterns. In fact, thanks to TikTok and its viral trends, we have another dating trend that is currently floating around the World Wide Web!  

The orange peel theory is 2024’s first surprise to us – something even Tinder did not anticipate in their Future of Dating report in 2023.  

As netizens on the Internet, asking your significant other to do some mundane task like peeling an orange for you shows how much they care for and love you. Moreover, if they do it for you more than once without thinking, they are completely in love with you. But if they choose not to do so, then your relationship is kind of doomed.  

At first look, this theory does appear to be extremely harmless or even something that simplifies simple acts of services, nearly glorifying it. Moreover, it also indicates that if your significant other is thoughtful enough to do simple things for you, then they are the best.  

While all that sounds great, isn’t it a little immature to gauge your relationships and what they basically stand for based on a TikTok theory? 

But What Is The Orange Peel Theory?

What Is The Orange Peel Theory

So, what exactly is the Orange Peel Theory all about? As the name seems to suggest, it’s an experiment with an unpeeled orange. The experiment is to get your partner to peel it for you!  

So, you have to hand the orange to your spouse/partner/potential partner and then wait. Does your partner peel the orange for you without asking any questions? Or do they just give you a look with raised eyebrows and simply ignore the orange?  

It does seem like a small and insignificant task – peeling oranges for your partner without being asked even once is proof to many that their partner truly appreciates and loves them.  

On looking closer and digging deeper, I’ve realized that the theory has been around longer than I ever anticipated.  

The Orange Peel Theory: The Origins 

It is not very often that I can put my English degree (where my main focus was poetry and drama) into much use, but it certainly became relevant once this trend became viral.  

You see, asking your partner to peel oranges for you is not something new. It has already been chronicled in the poems of Jean Little and Wendy Cope. Then, there’s a song called Golden Girl from  Frank Ocean’s album, Channel.  

The song starts with the lines, “She peels an orange for us in the morning / She woke me up to give me half.” 

In all these examples, peeling an orange is loving, considering how ordinary the whole test is and how commonplace the whole act is. To peel oranges for someone – that too unprompted – is a way to actively show how you care for them. Moreover, if the person handing you the orange is perfectly capable of doing the same, it matters so much more.  

It’s an act of service – it’s a sort of love language. But is it something we should actually strive for? 

How Does The Orange Peel Theory Actually Look Like?

How Does The Orange Peel Theory Actually Look Like? 

It is a substantial green flag when a romantic partner does not just positively respond to any direct request, such as peeling oranges, but also observes and acts proactively on little things that make your life so much more convenient.  

For example, imagine when you are someone who forgets to stay hydrated often due to your busy work hours. Your partners figure this out about you and begin to leave a glass of water at your workstation every morning or text you cute reminders to take water breaks throughout the whole day. Moreover, they typically do this without you asking them to do so simply because they were able to notice a minuscule aspect of your daily schedule that needed improvements for your overall wellness.  

Such meaningful actions often demonstrate an intimate level of attentiveness and care. This, in turn, indicates a partner who is invested in your health and happiness.  

The Orange Peel Theory: The Problems At A Glance


The Orange Peel Theory The Problems At A Glance 

If you haven’t noticed the tragic flaw of the orange peel theory, let me help you out!  

These constant tests in a relationship (particularly the ones on TikTok with viral views, such as the ‘ask your man’ prompts by Tania Totones Martinez) are invitations for others to form expectations and compare their relationships.  

Also, at certain points, it is an invasion of privacy. Charisse Cooke, a sex and relationship psychologist, agrees. She told Delish that the main problem with the theory is that these experiments are unfair from the core.  

Having said that, Cooke also pointed out that the orange peel theory can help us identify different problems that usually appear to be difficult to talk about, particularly if there is a habit of minimizing issues with our partners in the relationship.  

Moreover, Cooke says that such tests can draw attention to behaviors and attitudes in relationships that aren’t loving or healthy. So, if they don’t peel oranges for you, what other mundane tasks will they not do for you?  

On the flip side, social media is brimming with videos of cringe couples. You know, couples who love proclaiming their perfect relationship. Perhaps it’s their much-braggable Goldern Retriever partner or some other viral trope. And you don’t know what the original content is and what exists for viral views. 

Obviously, much like dating advice on TikTok, the theory misses nuances such as what is going on in the relationship, style of love language, and personality types.  

After all, a peeled orange cannot alone determine a healthy or successful relationship in the long run. At the end of the day, oranges are not Magic 8 balls. At the same time, it is hard to ignore the sweetness of your partner doting on you and even peeling oranges for you.  

The Orange Peel Theory Is Lame

The Orange Peel theory is basically lame! 

It psychologically depends on the simple belief that any subtle act of service in any relationship ideally depends on the relationship’s health. It basically tests how your partner is aware and considerate of your wants and needs.  

Moreover, this theory is also meant to show that if your SO wants to do the smallest stuff for you, then they will end up being empathetic towards you, loving you endlessly. But then basing your whole relationship’s health on this singular belief isn’t the best idea. 

So, if your partner negatively responds to peeling oranges for you, it doesn’t mean that they don’t care much about you. It actually promotes that you are generalizing acts of service, which might manifest differently for different people.  

What if your SO prefers making you a morning coffee and getting you breakfast in bed but might not want to peel oranges for you? The theory basically oversimplifies a layered concept like a relationship when it is neither black nor white.  

Dating trends on the internet, like the orange peel theory, might appear to be fun superficially, but you should not take it seriously enough to figure out your relationship’s future.  

It is problematic when you are trying to subject your significant other to Internet trends constantly, and testing these out to figure out how they actually feel about you creates a very toxic environment.  

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She believes that individuals get stressed about passing such tests, which leads to the fear of being abandoned when triggered. Moreover, the theory also fails to take into context various personalities, love languages, and situations.  

Healthy Ways Of Assessing Your Relationship:

So, what are the healthy ways to assess your relationship?  

The healthy ways to assess your romantic relationship involve a whole lot of work, presence of mind, and mindfulness. So, observe how honestly and effectively you can maintain communication with your significant other, resolving conflicts with mutual respect and trust.  

Moreover, the idea is to make your partner feel safe and, most importantly, heard in the relationship – nobody wants to feel pressured. Also, if you and your partner share the same set of values and goals while being emotionally secure with each other, your relationship will not need any flimsy tests.  

Is There Any Scientific Evidence To Back Up The Orange Peel Theory?

Is There Any Scientific Evidence To Back Up The Orange Peel Theory

While not really a formal scientific theory, the orange peel theory actually aligns with The Gottman Institute’s concept, the ‘bids for connection.’ 

Bids are as simple as requests for small favors such as peeling oranges or a nonverbal and verbal gesture that seeks an emotional connection.  

The researchers from the Gottman Institute found that how these bids respond can significantly affect the longevity and success of a relationship. Moreover, partners who respond positively and regularly to one another’s bids tend to have a relatively more resilient and stronger relationship.  

In fact, Gottman’s research realized that during a bid, many successful couples turn towards one another 86% of the time, as compared to just 33% of the time in less resilient partnerships. Naturally, this indicates being seen and heard is a vital aspect of a relationship’s success.  

The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships published a study in 2014 that offers compelling data and insights that resonate with the essence of the orange peel theory. This research also explored both compassion and love in 175 newly married couples, prioritizing daily acts of empathy and kindness.  

Additionally, these couples were able to record their acts of compassion over a period of 14 days. This went on to reveal a significant impact on marriage satisfaction. Also, the study was able to discover how both partners were able to acknowledge how these acts of compassion had a positive influence in forming a more enduring and deeper connection. 

The Orange Peel Theory Is A Two-Way Street:

The Orange Peel Theory Is A Two-Way Street

To make the most of this theory, you have to reflect on how you are treating your partner.  

For instance, participating actively in ordinary acts of compassion and understanding your SO is essential. As it turns out, the payoff goes beyond the bond you both share and the relationship in general.  

The Journal of Happiness Studies published a study in 2006 that underscores the importance of kindness in boosting happiness. So, the study revealed that counting your own acts of compassion for 7 days increases subjective happiness.  

Moreover, this research also suggested that engaging actively and frequently in behaviors encouraged by the viral orange peel theory will make it a win-win situation for both you and your partner. Yes! It not only benefits the whole relationship but also enhances personal happiness.  

And It’s A Wrap!

The orange peel theory might not have a formal and scientific foundation, but it does invite most of us to think deeply about something vital. What is the strength of our relationships? Does it lie in quiet, daily acts of understanding and kindness or in grand gestures?  

As per research, these simple and small acts can always add up over a period of time to make our bonds stronger while also improving our personal sense of warmth.  

So, when you come across a small moment to show that you care, remember that these are the instances that make your relationship walk the distance. 

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Settling For The Bare Minimum? Use The Orange Peel Theory To Find Out Whether He Loves You For Real!