An insightful narrative by an ex-Amish woman delving into the distinctive dating rituals of her community, offering a vivid portrayal of hug-rolling.
Dating practices can be significantly different across communities, owing to the influence of cultural, social, economic and even geographical factors. So, what seems very normal to one community may seem strange to another. TikTok user Lizzie Ens @lizzieens_wellness recently shared an elaborate video where she talked about the unique dating traditions of the Swartzentruber Amish community she used to be a part of.
The woman shares that the community had vastly different dating methods compared to the "Old Order or New Order Amish." She talks about how members of other Amish communities are surprised when she shares how dating worked in her ex-community. She says, "So, prepare yourself. I'm gonna explain to you what it would look like if I were to go on a date in the Swartzentruber Amish."
The influencer then proceeds to talk about how dating would only take place on a Saturday that was not on a church Sunday weekend. The Amish only had to go to church every two weeks, so they were bound to get one weekend where they did not have to go to church. She refers to this Sunday as the "visiting Sunday" or "resting Sunday." She reveals that young adults could begin to date when they were sixteen and a half years old.
So, once they attained this age, three or four boys who were of the same age would show up at her house towards midnight. Out of the three or four boys that do show up, only one of them wants to go out on a date with her. Interestingly, the guy who wishes to take her out on a date does not go into the house and ask her anything. Instead, the other guys go in and ask her, "Do you wanna go on a date with this guy?"
The woman is free to make a choice in this scenario and the woman shares what would happen if she agreed to the request. She does mention that if she refused to go on a date, the guys would attempt to convince her. Once they get the approval, all of the guys enter the girls' room. She says, "This is during the night. They're only allowed to date at night time."
The entire group hangs out in the girls' room for an hour or two, after which the guys who do not want to date the girl leave the room. Only the guy who wishes to date the girl remains in the room. She says, "So now it's just him and I in the room." The woman proceeds to clarify that the dating couple cannot be physically intimate before marriage.
She mentions how her mother specifically mentioned to "keep her clothes on" during her dating period. The couple can then choose to go to bed, where they indulge in what the woman calls "bundling." She begins to laugh as she explains what it is. So, if the couple finds engaging topics to talk about, they can continue to converse throughout the night. However, if they get bored of talking, they start "bundling."
She gives out specific details, saying, "He's supposed to wrap his arms around you and hug you and then like bundling is like rolling around." So, the pair essentially embrace and roll around for however long they want. The guy may kiss the girl on the cheek or on the lips if things go really well. After which, they go back to talking and sleep soon after.
The guy leaves not long after and he could ask to return in two weeks if the date goes well. In case it doesn't, he simply leaves without making any further requests. However, if he comes back to visit the girl and they have three dates spaced two weeks apart, then he can ask her to be his girlfriend. She says, "And then they are considered a couple."
In this form of dating, the girl gets to choose their partner. The influencer went through the same process and met her ex-boyfriend, who lived far away. They exchanged letters every two weeks and eventually "ran away" with him before they broke up. She mentions how couples were not allowed by the community to see each other during the day, even after dating for a long period. She concludes, saying, "That is dating in a nutshell."
People on the platform found the information interesting and put down their thoughts in the comments section. @kel_c_lynn said, "If any man woke me up at midnight, it's gonna be an automatic no for me." Another user, @biglady12345, commented, "I couldn't do that. I like sleep too much."