Some said it didn't exist anymore and some said it was still being used. Finally, I went to the former Amish and asked them. I'm posting the many comments I received on Facebook about this topic.
I will only use the first names of those who commented. Read through all the comments below to discover what it is and who is doing it. Some of the comments are surprising, but they do answer the main question: Does bed courtship still exist among the Amish? Have you ever heard of bed courtship? Does it still exist, if you know about it? It's a controversial subject among Amish and former Amish.
Some say it still is used and some say it isn't. Some Amish disagree with it, some disagree in word only. I sure would like to know if it does still go on! But this kind has no board down the middle like the bundling of old. Rebecca I never heard of it, so I decided to look it up. What I found was quite interesting, although I am unsure if it coincides exactly with what you were talking about. They call it "bundling" where there is a separation between the couple so that they each have their own side of the bed where they can talk and become close through conversation when times throughout the day is limited to speak with one another, due to work and such.
Barbara Unfortunately Dee the answer to your question is "yes" Dee Rebecca, the Amish do not use a bundling board. They are in the bed with no board. Another name is "bed date". Usually, from what I've read and been told, it is a first date, too. Is that right, Barbara? The bundling of early America used a board I also read kissing and cuddling are part of it--for some couples.
Not what we expect from the Amish, I'm thinking. Barbara Yes, Dee, you are correct Dee Barbara, I'm curious: It seems the former Amish are the only ones who will talk or admit it is still used. Hard to pin down! Barbara It depends on the person whether you get an honest answer or not Dee Okay. I'm still trying to figure out if it is a thing of the past--LOL. Some say yes and some say no. I guess it depends on the church, too. Dee I think that's why it so controversial, even among the Amish, Carol.
And not talked about much Lizzy It is still practiced among the Swartentruber Amish, at least it was when I left 4 yrs. Naomi I heard from a former Amish, that it still goes on, that is why they left so that their children wouldn't get pregnant and then have to get married, then have to join the church and then make the VOW and then the religion has them.
I've heard the parents don't really like it, but they look the other way, because they really want their children to stay Amish.
How sad, but true. Dee Lizzie, were you Swartzentruber? Naomi, did you know if the former Amish was Swartzentruber or Old Order? Thanks for your input, Lizzie, Barbara and Naomi. Naomi Old Order Minerva Dee my family is old order, and yes it is still the way of dating in the community "Danville,Ohio" LeRoy Ya, it is basically a rule in the Swartzentruber church where we grew up and if anybody didn't do it because of conviction they were considered strange!
It is one of the many acts of deceit they think is ok because the higher up Amish do something different! Lynn Yeah, I've heard of it as bundling. A classmate did a report on it in our English class in college. I heard the Amish in Lancaster PA no longer bed court.
I wonder if it is just some Amish and not all? LeRoy, I wondered if it is still going on around here. Lynn, the Amish bed court without a board--just teens in a bed together--often on the first "date"--in fact, that IS the date.
It seems that a porch swing might have been better. Dee I'm still trying to figure out why parents don't stop it. It seems to go against all that the Amish would consider moral. I think LeRoy is right: Marvin Yes it still exists where I come from.
Naomi Dee, the reason the parents don't do anything about it is, they are losing their children to the world, so if they get pregnant then they have them because they make them get married.
I heard of a case where a girl got pregnant on her first date ever and had to get married. Dena Yes, it exists under the Swartzentruber Amish Barbara Dee, the differences you will find are as vast as the communities out there Dee I'm thinking it is very much a practice that is alive and well. Do you think it would exist in Old Order churches in the more touristy areas--like Lancaster or Holmes County? You know, in the English world we also deal with teens who become active too soon sexually, but I can't think of any parents who would go to bed and let their teen daughter close her bedroom door, knowing there is a teen guy in there.
We deal with the same troubles, but it seems like mixed messages to Amish teens would be SO troubling! Barbara The craziest thing in the world is they expect them even in dating this way to refrain from sex!
Dee That's the most troubling part, Barbara. And from what I gather from Saloma's book, there is a certain amount of Even if it is their first "date", I would think, if she is naive, that could lead to some very sad situations for a teen girl. Barbara Dee, I promise if you continue to delve into this topic you will be appalled!! You will not like the truth I have a feeling 'troubling' will be a very mild description compared to what you will feel. Dee I know you're right, Barbara.
Sadly, many don't want to know there are these kinds of troubles among the Amish. Thank you for being patient with my curiosity! This discussion leads me to another question: Would they ever say anything to their girls or would they keep silent? I read once about an Amish dad who wanted his "old maid" daughter married so badly, he encouraged her to bed court in hopes of a pregnancy.
Dena Yes, my parents were concerned about us girls, but all mom would say was to keep our dress in place, and never mentioned anything about sex, so…guess how clueless I was, uneducated, and I really feel sorry for those girls that don't get any teaching,. Mary On the New Order and more progressive churches like Mennonites and Beachy, they do not have the practice of bed courtship.
I have heard that this is one reason some families leave the Old Order and join the N. On the contrary, a lot of New Order have pretty high standards for dating.
Barbara Dee, what I had tried to say earlier today is that this has been the custom for many years so there is most likely little if any wondering going on because the parents dated the same way, and know exactly what is going on. Barbara Unfortunately they are expected to date this way but refrain from sex Dee Dena, that is amazing. No other advice but to keep your dress in place.
I wish I could meet you, but my driving is limited because of health issues. Is there a weekend day so my hubby could help drive? Mary, it's no wonder families leave the Old Order before their children have to be involved in bed courting.
It seems amazing there are any who would want to keep this tradition going. Barbara, it is SO hard to think about allowing this, especially when the parents know what could happen.
Does anyone know why they continue this tradition? Or is it another one of these "Because we've always done it that way" things? Blows the popular conception of some Amish communities out of the water, doesn't it? Imagine the social workers who would immediately get involved if we discovered this going on in some English suburb! Dee That's the strange thing, Elizabeth.
For some reason, many things within in the Amish communities that would raise eyebrows, and get a social worker knocking on your door outside of the Amish, are tolerated, or maybe just well-hidden. I think it is worse in areas like ours where the Amish live in large groups: Lizzy Yes, I grew up in the Swartzentruber Amish setting.
Emanuel I was Swartzentruber Amish I left after my first experience of bed courtship, I thought it was a strange way of dating, and most of my family left but the Swartzentruber Amish still practice that, many have broke away because of that.
And yes it does still exist in most old order churches. As for the new order that I know in Pa.