Puritan dating rituals

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This unusual courtship ritual had a standard format. Step one: invite your date home to meet your parents. Step two: watch in horror as your mother ties you up from feet to waist in a heavy sack. In the heyday of bundling, ideas surrounding marriage and bedrooms were far removed from the privacy we currently hold dear. Bedrooms were semi-public spaces until roughly the late 18th century, and were used for anything from giving birth to entertaining guests.

But not everyone was in favor of letting their kids sleep in a bed with the opposite sex.

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Bundling drew ire from contemporary religious leaders and later from historians in Victorian England. One poem of the time, reprinted by Stiles, serves as a cautionary tale:. The origins of bundling may have come, as Stiles suggested, from a simple lack of fuel and cash in the cold winter months. Others believe its use as a legitimate marriage bolster originated from the story of Boaz and Ruth in Judeo-Christian religious texts, as social historian Yochi Fischer-Yinon described in his article The Original Bundlers. Bundling became so attractive to some parents in the s that it was briefly revived, and was used in religious Christian communities including Amish culture.

But bundling was a more revolutionary approach to love than it looks to modern couples. Despite its possible benefits and in part because of its definite weirdness, bundling fell out of fashion at the turn of the 19th century. Victorian sensibilities disapproved of premarital bed-sharing for couples, bedrooms became more private spaces, and better heating erased the need for body warmth. Most of the modern U.

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The bundling bag was not always enough. When two people bundled, a bolster or wooden board was installed to separate the two halves of the bed. When bundling failed to keep two lovers at bay, the decision to marry was made for them; shotgun weddings protected their morality if the girl was expecting. Choosing their own betrothed meant more couples could spend their lives happily ever after.

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Puritan dating rituals

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