Friday, August 22, 2014


Dating, calling, courtship, or what ever you want to call it varies from one Amish community to the next.

For most a boy will take a girl home (to her home) after the Sunday evening hymn singing and stay to visit for several hours.

Others have their dates on Saturday nights.

Some communities allow their dating couples to have a date every week, while others are only allowed to see each other every other week.

Some allow dating to begin at sixteen, while others aren't allowed to until after their eighteenth birthday.

Some have an absolute hands off no touching rule while others are much more lenient. Some require what we used to refer to as rocking chair courtship where the boy would sit on a rocking chair with the girl on his lap, and then there are still a few Amish churches that practice bed courtship.

LV and I grew up in one of the strictest communities when it comes to dating rules. We could only see each other every other Sunday night. We were never allowed to ride in a buggy together after we started our courtship, touching was not allowed. Dates were to be three hours long, max. Beginning at nine and ending at midnight. They discouraged long courtships and expected couples to marry somewhere between one and two years after they had their first date.


  1. I hate to even ask . . . what is bed courtship??

    1. I was wondering the same it really what it sounds like?

    2. Instead of sitting in a living room to visit, they go to the girls bedroom, and yes, lay in bed to do their visiting.

    3. What if the girl shared a room with sisters? Or did a courting girl automatically get her own room?

  2. It's interesting how things are so different in each community. My Hubby and I had our courtship through letters as he was in the military when we met. We'll celebrate our 36 anniversary next week. I think we knew each other better than some of our friends who had "traditional" dating. We poured out our hearts to each other in our letters and we each wrote EVERY day for two years.

  3. There is a video on Youtube by a supposed former Amish man demonstrating bed and rocking chair courtship. With two girls, I am liking the idea of no dating until 18 and after that, just one date every two weeks!

  4. I teach Early American history, and a form of bed courtship called "bundling" was fairly common in New England in the late 1600s and early 1700s. The couple would lay in bed - fully clothed, but under the covers - with a board between them. Another custom was for the couple to sit in chairs fairly far apart, and use a "whispering tube" (a variation of the old tin-can and string telephone) to speak to each other, as they would not be alone, but surrounded by other members of her family. In small houses and with very little heat these things were necessary to give the couple a smidge of privacy.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.