This theory is based on the assumption that both Riley and Farkle have loved each other the entire time. This doesn't mean that they have already received their "hormonal telegram". Feelings develop subconsciously, and people who ignore feelings and push them away have a difficult time understanding and acknowledging the subconscious.
When Farkle and Riley meet, they already display a sense of affection and care.
Farkle "saves" Riley's life by pulling her gently from the bowl of apples. Riley understands that Farkle doesn't want to be laughed at and keeps her promise.
Riley clearly shows an interest in Farkle, and she asks how she can repay his kindness.
Due to the fact that Riley has always wanted a Corpanga story, she meets Farkle, and has hope that he will be her love for life.
But, Farkle says he will love both Riley and Maya the same. Riley is disheartened by this. It causes her to doubt.
She has been interested in Farkle this whole time.
I first suspected this when Riley smiled at Farkle in the Halloween World, and she had the ability to influence people through gravity (love).
So, you can have feelings and not recognize them, especially when doubt comes into play. You can doubt your own feelings. Both Riley and Farkle do this.
Based on Bay Window, Riley was interested in Farkle the moment she met him. And, she's Auggie's age in the pilot. (And we know how Auggie was determined to have a Corpanga story, and then he met Ava)
Riley's been looking for her Corpanga story, and we know that she feels like it's her horizon line. She even wears black when she tells Cory that her impossible thing is Cory and Topanga. Farkle wears black too, and we see both Riley and Farkle struggle with that doubt the entire episode.
Why does Riley reject Farkle under Maya's influence? Because she doubts him. She doesn't believe that he likes her, because he said he likes Maya too.
What has Jexica always wanted?
Now, what does that have to do with Starry Night?
In Boy Meets World, Van Gogh's Starry Night was an important element in bringing Cory and Topanga back together.
Cory and Topanga see the painting differently. Topanga wants Cory to understand the emotion, and the love in the painting. Cory wants Topanga to believe in them. He sees the painting as just a painting.
In this scene, Cory wears red while he explains that he will always have faith in their love.
Topanga wears black as she expresses her doubt.
Riley and Farkle dance around each other. They send each other mixed messages. Some cause hope that they will be together, and others cause doubt.
Farkle needs proof, so as he watches Riley fall for the "face", he is filled with more and more doubt.
We know that Riley has faith in things that she doesn't see. She has faith that she will find her prince charming, and she tells Maya that they should never settle for anyone less than Farkle.
But as Riley watches Farkle pursue Maya, she begins to doubt.
She doesn't believe that Farkle is sincere. In Farkle's Choice, the dynamic between Riley and Farkle is clear.
Riley is flattered by Farkle's intentions, but she still doubts him because he is pursuing Maya at the same time.
In Girl Meets Truth, Riley wears red when she is in the role of Juliet. Farkle's spear carrier uniform is mostly black. Farkle interrupts the play, upset that Lucas is going to kiss Riley.
At the end of the play, everyone applauds for the kids as they walk out into the hallway. But, when Farkle walks out, only Riley applauds, causing the other kids to applaud him.
Riley tells Farkle that he is one of the best actors in middle school. This changes him. He wears red for the rest of the episode. Riley has given him faith again.
When Riley finds Farkle after his audition, he is devastated.
After she apologizes, Farkle gets up from the slab and tells Riley that she filled him with confidence. He thanks her, and then he kisses her.
During this entire scene, Farkle is wearing red, symbolizing that he has faith (belief) in love again.
In Girl Meets Smackle, Riley and Maya influence Farkle to pursue Smackle, and they push him toward her in Girl Meets I Am Farkle.
When Farkle asks them to help him understand love, he is wearing all black, the color of doubt. Riley is wearing red and black.
She clearly believes in Farkle and nothing will ever change that, but Farkle says that his relationship with Riley and Maya is fake, causing Riley to doubt again.
Riley begins to lose faith that she will ever be with Farkle after this. And, she begins to pursue Lucas more.
She doesn't push the end of the triangle until Farkle makes it clear that he is with Smackle, but Girl Meets Texas is a completely different situation.
Farkle is convinced that Riley loves Lucas, but Riley tells Farkle she loves him. Farkle doesn't get the message. He's too busy thinking that Riley cares for Lucas, not him, to understand what Riley is telling him. Still he says he loves her back without hesitation.
And that leads up to the entire point of Girl Meets New Years. Sense and Sensibility. Head and heart.
In Boy Meets World Starry Night, Topanga uses logic (her head) to determine that her relationship with Cory will not work out. Cory still believes in them (he uses his heart).
They both look at the painting, and they see it differently.
Topanga sees it as protection. Cory sees it as an attack.
Topanga uses logic to protect herself. Cory has faith and trusts his heart. The logic in this scenario is a threat to that faith.
But, they need both points of view to understand one another.
Topanga experiences a temptation and finally understands what Cory means. Cory goes back to look at Starry Night through Topanga's eyes.
When Topanga and Cory get back together, at the end of the episode, Topanga is wearing a red jacket. This symbolizes her belief in love, which has been restored through the fact that she has acknowledged Cory's point of view.
We already know that Cory believes whole heartedly.
The way Topanga describes the painting is also used in the dialogue of Girl Meets Belief. An episode where Farkle learns to believe in the possibility that there are things that science can't explain.
So given that dynamic, where do Farkle and Riley stand?
Farkle uses science (logic) and he is afraid of things that science cannot explain (feelings).
Riley believes in people, but she is in a state of doubt.
Even though Riley is empathetic, she doesn't always use that ability. (She doesn't acknowledge gravity/love). Her fear is based on the fact that she doesn't have her parents' love story. She feels left out.
But, when it comes to Farkle, Riley always manages to get past that doubt. She responds to him emotionally, more concerned for his well being than her own.
Farkle does the same thing. He's always there for Riley, but he relies on logic, so he doesn't acknowledge feelings.
Neither Riley nor Farkle realize that the answer is right there, in front of them, and they won't until they find the balance between head and heart.
This is proven in Girl Meets Stem.
First, Riley and Farkle are at odds with eachother.
But once Farkle listens to Riley's point of view, he says something very interesting.
Farkle knows that his doubt in Riley caused their set back. (For the science experiment at least)
Riley sees what Farkle doesn't see. Farkle acknowledges the facts that Riley doesn't always pay attention to.
They need each other, just like Cory and Topanga needed each other to understand Starry Night.
Riley and Farkle benefit from each other's point of view, but they can only do that when they are true to who they are.
They need to find their story. It's right there in front of them.
All Riley and Farkle have to do is believe in what they can't see. They both have to take that leap to find the love they're looking for.