Thursday, June 19, 2014

Amish Love and Dating

   When we think of Amish love and dating we might have a specific picture in our minds. A lot of it derived from the many Amish romance novels so popular today. Or maybe a movie or reality show we have seen on TV. But the fact is, Amish love and courtship is as diversified as are the Amish sects. 
    Just to name a few of the many sects, there are: New Order Amish, Old Order Amish, Swartentruber Amish, and Beachy Amish.  There are subgroups of these sects, some that sprang out of doctrinal disputes, whether too strict or not strict enough. Also, many sects of certain states differ greatly.  The Amish in Nebraska differ from the Amish in Lancaster, PA. This is even reflected in their clothing. Perhaps not to the Englisher eye, but the Amish can see the differences, even if it is something as slight as the width of a hat brim or the length of a dress. Some orders have different color buggies too. To learn more about the numerous sects of Amish go to:
     Getting back to Amish love...each of these Amish sects have their own way of courting/dating. Some may be very similar while others very different. We can't just assume that all Amish young couples sit on a porch swing once darkness falls, or ride in a buggy on a starry night or on a Sunday off-church afternoon. While indeed many probably do, this is not really the encompassed definition of an Amish courting experience, and unless we are Amish, we cannot possibly know what a couple of a certain sect does during a date.  Even some Amish do not know what kinds of courtship take place in various communities.  It is not a topic the community talk about. It is more of something quietly passed on, according to the traditions and beliefs of each group.

     As I write this, I am keenly aware of my ongoing lack of knowledge on the subject. And if not for research, and the help of some kind people who are either ex-Amish, live with them, or closely involved with Amish communities, I would not have the little knowledge I managed to acquire and share here on this blog.
       So, from all that has been told to me and all I have read, Amish courtship can consist of:
Going to a youth singing and being driven back home in the boy's buggy.
Going inside the girl's house afterward for some hot chocolate and cookies, while the family is asleep. Meeting after a church service at the fellowship gathering and meal afterwards.
To the practice of  'bed courtship' among the stricter orders, where the couple actually go to the girl's bed, snuggle and kiss. Some say this began due to the cold weather and the need for the couple to warm up. However it began, to my knowledge, it still exists today among the Swartentruber Amish. While this might seem strange or even immoral to some of us, it is the accepted practice among the particular sect.
      Just as the ways of non-Amish love and dating vary greatly from culture to culture, religion, and upbringing, so do the ways of the Amish.

    I LOVE YOU:  Eek leeba deek. (Spelled for pronunciation)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Linda, enjoyable post :-) I appreciate the times you commented on my ex-Amish blog Beyond Buggies & Bonnets. This week's post is about our "son" Mosie getting married & we were parents of the groom. Hope your book & other writings are doing well. Feel free to keep in touch.