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What is the orange peel theory – and can it prove true love?

On TikTok, a new test called the orange peel theory has gone viral. It focuses on how thoughtful acts of service from your partner can indicate that the relationship is true love.

The theory says that if your partner peels your orange for you without having to be asked, it’s a sign that the partner truly does love and care for you. A partner who does little things to make your life easier or your day a little brighter – like doing the dishes without asking or spontaneously buying them a bouquet of their favourite flowers – is a keeper, according to the orange peel theory. It’s all about doing something for the other just because they can, not because they have to.

A TikTok baker, Jenna (@jennaskates), recently went viral after posting a video of her boyfriend giving her containers of eggs with all the whites separated from the yolks. He painstakingly did in his own spare time after she had off-handedly mentioned days before that she’d been struggling to separate the egg whites due to her long nails.

“And this man took time to pre-separate the egg whites from the yolks for me,” Jenna wrote in the video’s overlaid text. “He saw me! Never thought egg white would make me cry.”

Many cited the baker’s video as the perfect example of the orange peel theory at work, including user @NeaNotMia who added that the theory is at work if your partner does something for you, even if you’re perfectly capable of doing it yourself.

“It might not literally be about peeling the orange,” @NeaNotMia explained in a TikTok video. “They might be asking you for [a] small favor to see your reaction, to see if later they can ask you for a bigger favor. And how are you going to make them feel when they ask you to do that for them?”

But the orange peel theory doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships, it also applies to platonic and familial dynamics as well. In videos across the platform, everyone from mothers to teachers took to posting the different ways in which the orange peel theory applies to their own lives.

One mother named Jaymie (@being.jaymie) wrote over a clip of her tending to her son, “I once heard that when your child asks you to carry them up the stairs before bedtime it’s not because they’re being difficult – it’s because they’re making a bid for more connection.” She added that the orange peel theory reminds her of how simple acts like these show how much you care for others.

In another video, a teacher shared with viewers that he happily ties his students’ shoes for them, writing that it’s “a beautiful little act of love and kindness.”

The videos circulating encourage more people to engage in random acts of kindness whether it’s for a loved one, or an acquaintance. Doing nice things for other people without any expectations, fosters stronger relationships.

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