There are many ways to measure the health of your relationship.  Looking out for red flags and making sure your family and friends approve of how they treat you can all indicate whether or not a partnership is worth your investment.

Similarly, there are a few ways to measure compatibility when first dating someone. While raiding their social media profiles is always tempting, tools like astrology can be even more helpful. The latest trend, the olive theory, is one of those mechanisms that some say can determine whether or not a relationship has the potential to make it in the long run.

The Olive Theory

For fans of the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” this theory certainly isn’t new. On the show, we follow Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor, on his quest for a soulmate. At the beginning of the series, he presents the olive theory to explain a perfect relationship.

Essentially, the olive relationship theory states that one partner should dislike olives while the other should like them. The idea is rooted in opposites attracting or of two people being halves of one whole. There is balance when two people in a relationship find themselves on opposite sides of the spectrum, thus creating a sense of relational harmony.

The theory found itself resurfaced on TikTok recently, as couples began to testify whether or not it rang true for them. The #OliveTheory hashtag has over 72 million views on the platform, sparking hot debate. As one user captioned their video, “My ex hated olives. So do I. My current relationship makes me the happiest I’ve ever been. He loves olives,” while another joked, “6 years deep, and we both hate olives. do I leave?”

Is the Olive Theory True?

So, if you and your potential bae both like olives, is your relationship doomed? Not exactly. While “opposites attract” has long been regarded as a marker for true compatibility, there are exceptions to every rule. Ultimately, having interests in common should be appreciated all the same within a partnership. 

Referring back to the sitcom that sprouted the theory, Ted believes his friends Marshall and Lily are prime examples of this working theory since Marshall hates olives and Lily loves olives. Whenever there are olives in his food, Marshall happily gives his to Lily. However, we later come to find out that Marshall actually likes olives just as much as his partner does but gives them to her because he knows how much she loves them. 

While the olive theory is initially presented as a testament to compatibility, it actually becomes a sign of how much unconditional love there is in a relationship: Marshall gives up the olives because he loves Lily and wants her to be happy.

Love Is Love

Whether it’s olives, pickles, or the very polarizing pineapples on pizza, don’t let you and your partner both hating or loving a thing mean anything about the potential of lasting long term. While the olive theory is certainly fun to test out, true love always wins.