Dating experts warn your relationship may fail if it doesn’t pass ‘orange peel’ theory

@flaw_liss/TikTok Samir Behlic/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘My ex’s final straw’: Dating experts warn your relationship may fail if it doesn’t pass ‘orange peel’ theory

'I think it’s the constant need to 'test' your significant other that gets old.'


Phil West


Posted on Jan 8, 2024   Updated on Jan 8, 2024, 3:17 pm CST

A woman revealed that her ex-boyfriend broke up with her over mention of the “orange peel theory,” adding to the dialogue on TikTok around the test that assesses the strength of your relationship.

The video comes from creator Ariel (@flaw_liss), and her video, which is captioned “orange peel theory was my ex’s final straw,” gathered more than 449,000 views in just two days on the platform. In it, she shares an exchange with her ex-boyfriend and her feelings on the “orange peel theory.”

Ariel says, “My ex-boyfriend said the main reason that he broke up with me is because I brought up the orange peel theory, and he thought it was ridiculous. And you know what? I would like someone who wants to peel an orange for me. Really would! Not going to ask you to. I just want to know that you would. Is that too much to ask?”

@flaw_liss orange peel theory was my ex’s final straw 🍊 #orangepeeltheory ♬ original sound – Ariel

According to a December article explaining the orange peel theory from CNBC, “The viral phenomenon has nothing to do with the citrus fruit. It refers to a relationship ‘test’ many couples are using to gauge the strength of their partnership.

“The challenge calls for participants to ask their partner to peel an orange for them. If their significant other says yes, that means they are willing to help with small tasks. If they say no, it might signal they are less likely to offer support throughout the relationship.”

While some experts decried the test, with one noting, “I am not a fan of tests. They are designed to instigate insecurity,” others think there might be some validity to the orange peel theory.

One expert said, “The way that people do small things tends to be a holographic microcosm of how they did big things.”

Videos tagged with the #orangepeeltheory hashtag on TikTok have received over 71 million views, with a lot of users sharing their own relationship stories within the content, including one who boasted, “My bf absolutely spoils me. Not in the materialistic way, but in the orange peel theory way. He cuts up my steak because he knows I don’t like doing it.”

Another user confessed the theory hit home for her in a bad way, after she had to go to the emergency room due to a bad migraine and her significant other refused to leave work to get her, or even ask about her health once she had left the hospital. She said in that video, “I’m going to be peeling my own oranges for the rest of my life.”

Commenters to Ariel’s video shared their own views on the theory.

One said, “I think it’s the constant need to ‘test’ your significant other that gets old.”

But another argued, “I think it’s communication and the small bids for connection rather than seeing it as a ‘test.’ I want someone who cares.”

A third noted, “I brought up orange peel theory & explained how its the thing that makes me feel the most loved, so my husband started doing more little tasks for me to make me feel loved.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to the creator via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Jan 8, 2024, 7:00 pm CST