Dating among the Amish typically follows a common formula.
A young man will invite a young woman to drive her home in his buggy after a Sunday singing.
Some Amish, often boys again, will fit out their buggies with onboard stereo systems with large speakers.
The vast majority of Amish youth, however, do not leave home for the city or even for their own dwelling place within the community, but remain under their parents’ roof until marriage.
A dating couple may exchange letters and see each other mainly on weekends.
A couple may date for a year or longer before a young man may ask for marriage. Participating in certain social activities as well as the use of unsanctioned technologies ends for many Amish youth at baptism, and at the latest at marriage in the Amish church.
Indeed many Amish find the practice of bed courtship morally objectionable.
Rather than an angst-filled period of existential choice, it is primarily “a time to find a marriage partner”.
For those of you who have never heard of it, there is a time in a young Amish person’s life when they get a chance to explore the world outside of their community.
This time, which usually happens around the mid-to-late teen years, is a chance for youth to get a sense of what the world has to offer as a whole and what place their life holds in it.
It’s a very transitional time that decides what direction the rest of their lives will take, and that time is called Rumspringa.
Rumspringa ends in one of two ways: either the person chooses to get baptized within the Amish church or they decide to leave the community and assimilate into the outside world.