A new TikTok trend named the "Orange Peel Theory' suggests that partners who do small acts of service for each other will have healthier relationships. Matthew D. Johnson, author of Great Myths of Intimate Relationships: Dating, Sex, and Marriage and professor of psychology at Binghamton University, State University of New York, has some thoughts on the theory and how to put it into practice.

"My colleagues and I have examined the ways in which couples stay happily married over time. To do this, we followed newlywed couples over the first few years, when a lot of couples become disillusioned. We measured couples' communication skills, how they expressed emotion, how much they empathized with each other, and how supportive they were. We found that these factors did not have as much of an impact on maintaining a happy marriage as we thought they would. Instead, it seemed that people who simply attended to their relationship did as well as some of the most skilled communicators. So, what do I mean by "attended to their relationship"? The orange peel videos capture this idea well. Couples who thought about their relationship and made time to do things for their relationship partner were just as happy as couples who were trained in communication and empathy. In other words, simply focusing your attention on your partner and your relationship might be enough. 

"One of the things you can do is to find ways in which you can support your partner without him or her knowing about it. Relationship scientists call this invisible support. As long as it is support your partner actually wants, as described in the orange peel videos, finding ways to support your partner where she or he doesn't know you’re doing it creates space in the relationship that is open and comfortable without being transactional. The importance of pairing your supportiveness with the support that is needed or wanted is essential. I really love this about the orange peel trend! For example, if your partner is talking about a problem at work, she or he may simply want to vent. In this case, support would not involve offering advice, just listening to and validating your partner. On the other hand, they may actually want you to peel that orange!"