Ex-Amish woman says a traditional date for her was cuddling with a boy in the middle of the night


Ex-Amish woman says a traditional date for her was cuddling with a boy in the middle of the night

'You still get to choose your partner.'


Tricia Crimmins


Posted on Sep 21, 2023   Updated on Sep 21, 2023, 6:58 pm CDT

An ex-Amish woman says that as a teenager, she dated by cuddling with boys in the middle of the night.

In a TikTok posted on Monday, Lizzie Ens (@lizzieens_wellness), a former Amish woman, describes the process of traditional dating in a Swartzentruber Amish community.

Ens says all dating took place at night—usually past midnight—and involved a man interested in dating her, plus several of his friends.

His friends would come up to her room and ask her if she wanted to go on a date with the suitor; if she said no, they would try to convince her. If she said yes, the entire group would hang out in her room until the man’s friends left, and she and her date were alone.

That’s when Ens says she and her dates would start “bundling,” or hugging each other and rolling around on her bed. She says that boys were allowed to kiss her on her cheek or lips, and they left around 3 or 4am.

Ens says in her experience, dates could only happen every two weeks. After three dates, the two could become a couple. They could still only see each other every two weeks and never in public.

“There’s no pre-arranged marriages or anything like that,” Ens says. “You still get to choose your partner—there’s not very many options.”

On Thursday, Ens’ video had almost 230,000 views on TikTok.

@lizzieens_wellness Replying to @userllllllllllllll The more you know 😂#escapingamish #fyp #amishrenegade #amishlife #amishparadise #amishtiktok #misscommando #warriorwoman ♬ original sound – Lizzie Ens

Ens says that the two-week schedule applied to a long-distance relationship, as well: Every two weeks, she wrote a letter to her then-boyfriend, and he did the same.

He also ended up leaving the Amish lifestyle together, and Ens says she doesn’t keep in touch with him.

In other videos, Ens talks about how the Swartzentruber Amish don’t allow Rumspringa, or the practice of Amish adolescents experiencing a non-Amish lifestyle and deciding whether or not they want to return to their community.

Rumspringa is one of the most well-known aspects of Amish life and inspired the TLC reality show Breaking Amish.

Ens initially escaped the Amish community when she was 17 with her twin sister, and then they both returned. Two years later, Ens left by herself shortly before her sister’s wedding—which she wasn’t allowed to attend after leaving the community.

“I just knew in my heart that if I didn’t leave at that point in time when I had that chance,” Ens says. “That I would probably never leave.”

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*First Published: Sep 21, 2023, 3:57 pm CDT