Woman who FLED Amish upbringing reveals what it’s like to DATE in ultra-strict community – and lifts the lid on courting ritual called ‘BUNDLING’ that couples perform because they can’t have pre-marital sex
- Lizzie Ens, 36, from Ohio, is an ex-Amish member who left the community at 19
- She frequently shares health tips and shocking facts about her life online
- Most recently, she revealed what dating as an Amish member looks like
A woman who ran away from her incredibly strict Amish community as a teen has shared what it was like to date while she was still living under its strict rules – and what men and women did in bed together to avoid having pre-marital sex.
Lizzie Ens, 36, from Ohio, fled the Amish lifestyle when she was 19 years old, and hasn’t looked back.
The former Amish member-turned-nutrition coach now shares fascinating insights into her childhood with her more than 172,000 followers.
And, in a recent video, Lizzie lifted the lid on how teenagers dated in the Amish community and detailed the courting practice they did in bed known as ‘bundling.’
Lizzie Ens, 36, from Ohio, ran away from the Amish community has revealed what dating in the Amish world looked like
She fled the Amish lifestyle when she was 19 years old and hadn’t ever looked back
And, in a recent video, Lizzie lifted the lid on how teenagers dated in the Amish community and detailed the odd practice they did in bed known as ‘bundling’
Lizzie’s life! The rules of Swartzentruber Amish
- No indoor plumbing, milking machines, and community phone booth
- No daylight savings time
- Buggy transport only
- Women must wear dresses that reach the brim of their shoes
- Wood ovens are only to be used for cooking and heating
- Windmills and old fashioned hand pumps are used for securing water
- No flowers
In a viral clip, which has so far amassed more than 1.2 million views, Lizzie shared the very specific age at which Amish people began dating.
She said: ‘What was dating like? This is something that always trips people up. Because where I’m from, the Swartzentruber Amish, dating is really different.’
Lizzie then advised viewers to ‘prepare’ themselves before diving into the Amish dating world.
She began by explaining that dates only ever took place Saturday night during a week they didn’t have church the next day.
The ex-Amish member added: ‘We started dating at around age 16 and a half – not 16, 16 and a half.’
The ex-Amish member noted that they were only allowed to date during the night – adding ‘they can’t be seen in public.’
Lizzie used herself as an example and explained that she would go to bed and then about midnight three or four guys would show up to her house.
Out of the teens who showed up, one of them wanted to date her.
‘This guy never comes by himself. It’s always with a group of other guys,’ she added.
The teen who wanted to date Lizzie would wait outside of her room, while the other three guys entered her room.
The first shocking aspect of the dating world is that couples would only see each other once every two weeks
She began by explaining that dates only ever took place Saturday night during a week they didn’t have church the next day
‘Three of them come upstairs to my room – not the guy who wants to date me – just the other three and they ask me, “Do you want to go on a date with this guy?” I can say yes or I can say no,’ she said.
Lizzie noted that if she said ‘no’ the teens would attempt to convince her to change her mind.
If she says ‘yes,’ then all four men come into Lizzie’s room.
After hanging out in Lizzie’s room for about an ‘hour,’ the three boys who weren’t there to date her leave – while she and the teen who wanted to be with her continued spending time together.
‘So now it’s just him and I in the room. What do we do after that? Well there’s not supposed to be any kind of sex before marriage – nothing like that. It’s strictly prohibited,’ she said.
Instead, the teens do something known as ‘bundling.’
‘Bundling is where at some point while you’re laying bed visiting, if it’s a good conversation, the guy will take the lead and he’s supposed to wrap his arms around you and hug you and bundling is like rolling around,’ she explained.
‘So then you roll around for however long you want to do that and then he may kiss you on the cheek, or if he really likes you, he might kiss you on the lips.
Lizzie used herself in the example and explained that she would go to bed and then about midnight three or four guys would show up to her house
The other men would leave, and Lizzie and the guy who wanted to date her would stay up, talk and cuddle
Then, the potential lovers will go back to talking. If the conversation is boring they will both go to sleep and the boy will leave about 3 or 4am.
If they are both having a good time, the boy will ask for another date before leaving.
The ex-Amish member added: ‘If he comes back and they have three dates – which has to happen every two weeks, you’re not allowed to see each other for more than every two weeks – he may ask her if she wants to be his girlfriend and then they are considered a couple.’
Lizzie explained that while in a relationship, you can still only see each other every two weeks.
‘That’s dating and then eventually, if you continue, if you’re in a relationship, you’re not allowed to see each other in public so like you wouldn’t be allowed to go to church together, ride in a buggy together when it’s daylight, you could only be seen or only be together at night time,’ she said.
If the couple wants to tie the knot, the man would ask the woman to get married and shortly after bending down on one knee, they would wed.
She explained that in the community there were no ‘pre-arranged marriages’ and that people got to chose their partners.
Lizzie grew up in a Swartzentruber Amish community, which is known to be the most conservative branch.
She explained that bundling involved them hugging each other and rolling around while fully clothed
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Members of the Swartzentruber Amish community shun indoor plumbing, milking machines, and community phone booths.
They also refuse to adapt to daylight savings time, depend on buggy transport, and only use wood ovens for cooking and heating, while windmills and old-fashioned hand pumps are used for securing water.
Women must wear dresses that reach the brim of their shoes.
In the past, Lizzie shared they were allowed to date but only see their partner once every two weeks and could never be seen together in public.
She noted that traditional dates involved the pair cuddling for hours.
Lizzie initially attempted to escape the Amish world when she was 17 years old with her twin sister, however, they both returned shortly after.
People flooded the comments and expressed their shock, with one saying: ‘This is absolutely wild’
Two years later, at age 19, Lizzie left for good just before her sister’s wedding, which she was no longer allowed to attend after leaving the community.
People flooded the comments and expressed their shock.
One person said: ‘At no point did I know where this was going. Fascinating as always! Thank you for sharing.’
Another user commented: ‘This sounds like a made up folktale because it’s so wild.’
‘This is absolutely wild lol,’ someone else wrote.
A fourth person added: ‘That blew my mind actually!’
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