TIKTOK has become known for the number of relationship trends and theories that circulate on the social media site.
In November 2023 a new hypothesis, called "the orange peel theory", caught the attention of TikTok users.
What is the orange peel theory?
The orange peel theory is a theory that became popular on social media platform TikTok in November 2023.
The theory suggests that if your romantic partner peels an orange for you – without you having to ask – then they deeply love and care for you.
This is because the act of peeling the orange for you shows that the other person does things to make your life easier just because they can, not because they have to.
A large number of videos have been shared on TikTok about the orange peel theory, with one of the most popular clips saying the theory is "so real".
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User @_k0k0mi explains: "Someone will do things for you just because it makes you smile.
"Just because it will make your life easier, just to make your day a lot – or even just a little bit – better.
"They expect nothing in return because they are truly just happy that they get the chance to do that little something for you."
As well as the videos explaining the orange peel theory, there are a large number of clips circulating that encourage people to embody the spirit of the theory more themselves.
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TikTok users have been urging more people to do more nice things for others – without expecting anything in return.
What does it mean for your relationship?
In many cases, the orange peel theory is not literally about someone peeling an orange for you.
The theory describes a partner who just wants to make your life easier.
Some examples of the orange peel theory in action shared online include a partner washing the dishes without asking, or somebody buying a bunch of flowers for their partner for no reason.
One of the orange peel theory videos that has gone viral on TikTok shows how a baker's boyfriend separated egg whites from egg yolks for her after she said she had been struggling with the task.
The user, @jennskates, explains in her video: "This man took time to pre-separate the egg whites from the yolks for me.
"He saw me! Never thought egg white would make me cry."
The clip has been "liked" over 4 million times as of November 22, 2023.
According to the theory, a romantic partner who exhibits these sorts of behaviours is an ideal spouse and the relationship is destined to be strong as it builds trust.
Somebody doing small favours for you means that you -unconsciously – accept that you can ask them for help in bigger or more meaningful situations in the future.
While most of the TikTok videos about the orange peel theory are about romantic relationships, it can it also be applied to friends and family.
A number of school teachers have also shared their own versions of the theory online, with one example being tying shoelaces for their pupils.
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