The Orange Peel Theory Is A Fun Trend But A Ridiculous Way Of Assessing Your Relationship. Experts Agree

Orange peel theory

I have a bone to pick with Generation Z and their unhealthy dating habits. No, I’m not a millennial that’s being condescending. I’m just a frustrated Gen Z who’s been getting a front-row seat to the chaos in the dating world these days. Not only are we a generation that doesn’t value intimacy but we’re also unhealthily obsessed with social media and validation, allowing them to dictate our lives. It’s no secret that social media applications have normalised a large number of toxic dating patterns, the latest one that has been floating around the Internet—the orange peel theory.

According to the residents of the Internet, asking your partner to perform the mundane task of peeling an orange will tell you just how much they love you and care for you. If they choose to do it without thinking twice, they’re head over heels in love with you but if they choose not to, your relationship is doomed. At first glance, this theory appears extremely harmless or maybe even something that oversimplifies a simple act of service, almost glorifying it. It tells us that if your partner is thoughtful enough to perform this task, they’re the greatest partner. But is it that easy to gauge romantic relationships and what they stand for?

Deep diving into Internet dating trends

With social media being so accessible, most of us spend our time consuming everything that comes our way. This holds true for trends from applications such as Instagram or TikTok. We’ve all been guilty of hopping on the trend bandwagon, whether that means grooving to an old song with your friends or asking your partner bizarre questions. For instance, there was a dating trend that made you ask your partner to name a woman, and depending on his answer, one could gauge how he feels about you. Bizarre, right?

Ruchi Ruuh, a relationship counsellor, believes that these trends that stem out of social media platforms can be fun to partake in but also vile and certainly not to be taken seriously enough to test your relationship. “Relationships are too nuanced to be tested on the parameters of tests like these. These tests can lead to a lot of unnecessary comparison and insecurities in relationships,” she explains. With social media being added to the mix, they also end up creating undue pressure on people to conform to the expectations of how their audience on social media perceives them. Additionally, these tests also push a person to go beyond their comfort, values and preferences—all against their will.

Understanding why the orange peel theory is lame

The orange peel theory is psychologically built on the belief that subtle acts of service in a relationship can be great for the health of the relationship. It ‘tests’ how attuned your partner is to being considerate of your needs and wants. This theory is supposed to show that if your partner is willing to accommodate your smallest needs then they are empathetic towards you and love you endlessly. However, Ruchi elaborates on how basing the whole health of your relationship on this belief is not the best idea.

“If your partner responds negatively to peeling an orange, that doesn’t mean they don’t care about you. It promotes the generalisation of an act of service which may manifest differently for everyone,” she says. What if your partner prefers making your morning coffee for you and doesn’t like peeling an orange? The orange peel theory oversimplifies a layered thing such as a relationship, when it’s not black and white.

Why internet dating trends shouldn’t be taken seriously


Internet dating trends such as the orange peel theory may seem like fun superficially, but they must not be taken seriously enough to decide the future of your relationship. “It’s problematic when you’re constantly trying to subject your partner to these Internet dating trends and testing them to gauge how they feel about you, it creates a toxic environment,” Ruchi reveals. She believes that people can get stressed about ‘passing’ these tests which leads to their fear of abandonment being triggered. The orange peel theory like most dating trends fails to take into context different personalities, situations and love languages.

Healthy ways of assessing your relationship

According to Ruchi, healthy ways to assess your relationship involve work, mindfulness and presence of mind. “Observe how effectively and honestly you can communicate with your partner, and resolve conflicts with mutual trust and respect,” she advises. One is supposed to feel safe and heard in their relationship, not feel pressured. Ruchi maintains that if you share the same values and goals with your partner along with feeling emotionally secure with them, your relationship doesn’t need these flimsy tests.

- Beauty Writer


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