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The Orange Peel Theory: Little Gestures with Big Impacts

Illustration of hands peeling an orange with text: The orange peel theory explained.
@annabhamm the orange peel theory explained🍊👩🏻‍❤️‍👨🏼 #relationships #orangepeeltheory #relationshiptips #greenflags #bidsforattention #healthylove #relationshipadvice ♬ Dream Away - Ramol

Have you seen the latest TikTok relationship theory? The ‘orange peel theory’ has become the latest predictor of a happy relationship to take over the internet. The trend is keeping partners in check and making people question the depth of their relationships based on simple acts of kindness. The premise is straightforward: if your partner does something for you without being asked, like peeling an orange, it’s a sign of a happy relationship.

The theory gained traction when a TikToker named Jenna shared a sweet gesture from her boyfriend, who gifted her a box of egg whites separated from yolks as a thoughtful response to her struggles with long nails during baking.  TikTok Relationship Advisor, Anna Birmingham, emphasized that such gestures reveal a partner's attitude towards the relationship, emphasizing the significance of small acts in shaping the larger picture.

However, not all experiences have been heartwarming. A Reddit user expressed sadness when her boyfriend failed to 'peel her orange' by refusing simple requests like tying her hair or tossing a towel in the dryer. The incident led her to reflect on the unequal effort in their relationship, prompting consideration of a breakup.

Despite mixed reactions, other TikTokers flooded the platform with positive experiences, highlighting partners who spontaneously offer toothbrushes or willingly handle disliked chores. The 'orange peel theory' sparks introspection, reminding us that small gestures can indeed make or break the fabric of a relationship.

@michellelelman We always talk about your needs but sometimes you just want and that’s OK to be fulfilled too #orangepeel #orangepeeltheory ♬ interlinked - jacob¡
@jesschris87 He will do anything to keep me stress free 🥹🫶🏼 #relationship #orangepeeltheory #bestfriends #qualitytime #LoveAndSupport #wordsofaffirmation #actsofkindness #couplegoals #attachmentstyle #foreverlove ♬ Lovin On Me - Jack Harlow

Giddings, A. (2023, November 23). TikTok’s ‘orange peel theory’ is causing break ups — Is your relationship safe? Retrieved November 25, 2023, from https://metro.co.uk/2023/11/23/tiktoks-orange-peel-theory-breaking-relationships-19868360/ 

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