If you’re not on relationship Tiktok, you may or may not be in the know about the internet’s latest trend. What you might know is that a lot of people are suddenly obsessed with asking their significant others to peel oranges for them. And a lot of people seem pretty fixated on their reactions. What you might not know, though, is how a lump of citrus can make or break a relationship. So let’s talk about what the Orange Peel Theory means for your relationship. 

What is the Orange Peel Theory?

Toward the end of 2023, videos started popping up online of people filming themselves, asking their romantic partner to peel an orange. The video often ends after their partner’s response, with no actual oranges in view. If you don’t know what’s going on, these videos are pretty meaningless and boring, so it’s easy to scroll right past them. 

Asking someone to peel an orange for you is pretty insignificant so why is the internet buzzing over videos of it? That’s because it’s actually a test. How someone answers this question can be a gauge of how healthy their relationship is.

This theory/ test aims to gauge your romantic partner’s likelihood of assisting you with small tasks, acts of service, and possibly even their support in times of crisis. 

In a healthy relationship, your partner will usually be happy to help you with something as simple as peeling an orange. It’s a small inconvenience to them that will make the person they love happy. In not-so-healthy relationships, romantic partners may show reluctance to help you out or downright refuse to. 

What Does The Orange Peel Theory Mean For Your Relationship

The Orange Peel theory generally has two outcomes. Either your partner says they will peel the orange or they say they won’t. Their answer is important because it can indicate how much support they’ll be willing to give you in the future. 

Assuming your partner would peel that hypothetical (or literal) orange for you, you can bask in the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing you’ve got one of the good ones. They’ll likely do everything they can to support you without expecting anything in return, even in times of hardship and crisis. 

If your partner won’t help you peel the orange, it may be time to ask yourself what else they wouldn’t do for you. Can you count on them to help you when you really need it? What happens the next time they let you down over something a lot more important than a piece of fruit? While saying “no” isn’t reason enough to do anything drastic, it may be a sign that your relationship needs some work. 

The Psychology Behind The Theory

A psychologist may not run the account behind the Orange Peel Theory but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some psychology at play. 

The idea that someone willing to do small tasks for you will also do larger tasks later on is intricately related to the “Foot-in-the-door technique.” This technique is usually used to coax someone into doing a large task they normally wouldn’t by having them do a much smaller one to form a connection. Once the connection is formed, people are usually much more willing to do that big task they would usually say no to. 

While the Orange Peel Theory isn’t meant to be used to get someone to do something big for you, it can help gauge relationships. 

Should I Try Out the Orange Peel Theory on My Partner?

Unlike other “relationship tests” (I’m looking at you, loyalty tests), trying out this little theory may not be a bad idea. Generally speaking, though, this theory isn’t going to tell you something you don’t already know deep down.

Unless you’re in a very new relationship, most people can at least guess their partner’s reaction to them asking for help with something. If you’re feeling a little unsure about it or just want an excuse to have someone do something nice for you, go right ahead. It’s harmless enough to ask for a little help every now and then. Unlike some other relationship tests you won’t be actively trying to trick them either.

Just keep in mind that if they spend a lot of time online, you may want to think of another small task for them other than peeling an orange. Try asking for help tying a shoe or even just grabbing a glass of water when you’re both sitting on the couch. As long as it’s not something huge that will take a lot of time or effort, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a good substitute that will fly right under their radar. 

Whether They Say “Yes” or “No”

At the end of the day the most important thing is that you feel supported and happy in your relationship. The Orange Peel Theory is just an indicator; by itself, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Someone who happily peels an orange for you can still mess up and wrong you while someone who grumbles or refuses to can still be your lifeline when you’re at your lowest.

No single “test” like this could or should be the reason you decide to be with or break up with someone. At most, it’s just a way you can affirm how you’re already feeling. If you don’t like the way someone answers it can also be a way to open up an honest dialog in your relationship too. If you need a little more help getting that started, click here to read up on communicating with your partner.

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