Compatibility is key when it comes to relationships. Whether the relationship is romantic or platonic, you want to be able to connect with someone beyond the surface level. In some cases, you may strive to share similar goals or interests.
Sometimes, we turn to different sciences or belief systems to help us determine compatibility. Take zodiac signs for example. If you're a Gemini, you might be trying to find a significant other who's an Aries or Leo.
There are probably hundreds of ways to convince yourself that your crush is “the one,” but could Olive's love be the indicator? Here's a primer on the “Olive Theory.”
What is the “Olive Theory”?
The “Olive Theory” comes from the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.” He was first mentioned in the show's pilot. After Ted and Robin's characters' first date, Ted returns to his shared apartment with friends (and spouses) Lily and Marshall. Ted tells them about his date, calling Robin “the future Mrs. Ted Moseby.”
Through flashbacks, the audience sees how Robin checks all of Ted's boxes in search of the perfect woman. But Ted saves the “best for last.”
“Do you want these? I hate olives,” Robin says during the date.
“She hates olives, great!” Marshall responds in the present, as Lily mentions the so-called “Olive Theory.”
Back in the flashback, Ted explains that the theory is based on Marshall and Lily. Marshall hates olives, while Lily loves them. “In a weird way, that's what makes them such a great couple — the perfect balance,” Ted says.
At first, the theory resembles the ancient idea that opposites attract.
However, the meaning of the theory changes once Barney (who is part of the characters' group of friends) sheds light on a shocking truth. While in a taxi, Barney questions Marshall's aversion to olives.
“Two weeks ago, at a Spanish bar on 79th Street, I had a plate of olives. What was it?” Barney says.
Marshall then tells Barney to never tell anyone what he has to say. On Marshall and Lily's first date, he ordered a Greek salad. Lily asked if she could put olives in it and Marshall replied, “Sure, I hate olives.” It turns out that Marshall actually loves Olive and only introduced him to Lily because he was very attracted to her.
Barney tells Marshall that he shouldn't marry Lily, equate olives with new experiences, or date other women. But Marshall disagrees. “I'm going to marry that girl,” he says as Lily appears near the open cabin window.
“Lily, I love olives,” Marshall says. “We'll make it work,” she replies.
The real “Olive Theory” is about the give and take that comes with being in a relationship. When you love someone, you have to be willing to make sacrifices and compromises for them. In Lily and Marshall's case, it's about giving up olives. Marshall knows Lily loves olives. So, if he asked for something with olives in it, Marshall would always send it to Lily, just to make her happy. This principle goes beyond olives and can be applied to anything.
Some users on social media have used the theory to show compatibility with their partner based on Ted's interpretation, while others follow the actual meaning.
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