Curfews, ‘grabbing’, Tinder is banned & girls NEVER snog on a first date – strict dating rules for travellers revealed

THERE are different sets of rules when it comes to having boyfriends within the traveller community, with some stricter than others.

From having a curfew, to being forbidden to living with a man before marriage, Caitlin, 19, and Lizzy, 20, know only too well what it’s like having to avoid any scandal which could put off potential husbands.

In the fourth of our six-part exclusive series with Fabulous, the Caravan Queens will be spilling the beans on ‘grabbing’, marriage and the strict dating rules they must follow. 

Lizzy says: “When it comes to having a boyfriend every traveller is different, we all have different sets of rules set by their family. But for us, I’m allowed a boyfriend, and Caitlin’s allowed a boyfriend.

“There are rules with dating, and it is very important that we follow them, and that every girl follows them. You would never want to tarnish your name.”

And despite relationships not being their main priority the sisters, who are currently both single and have never had a boyfriend, they know how to play by the rules. 

Lizzy says: “If you are going out on a date or going to meet your boyfriend, you will have a curfew, and you have to make sure you are back in time.

"It depends what time you go out, but you will usually have to be home by 10pm.

“Chances are your mummy will know about the date. A lot of girls will tell their mothers, but they don’t tell their daddy until the boy goes in and asks to marry the daughter.”

Dating apps including Tinder are also a big “no” within the travelling community.

If you are going on a date or meeting your boyfriend, you will have a curfew. Chances are your mummy will know about the date, but they won't tell their daddy.

When it comes to finding love, the girls are likely to follow tradition and will look for a partner at an organised event such as a wedding. 

Caitlin says: “You won’t see a traveller on a dating app, I have never seen or heard of a girl on a dating app. I don’t know about the boys, but girls, it’s just a no.

“You will more likely meet through mutual friends at events.

“If you like someone, your friend might know them and tell him that you are interested, then he will message you on social media.


“It is up to the guy to introduce himself, but you will never be left alone with a boy.

“This is why events are important to us. The girls will get dressed up and go to events to find their future husband. 

“People will hire make-up artists and dress designers.”

However, there is one thing Caitlin and Lizzy want to clear up of what happens at these events and that is ‘grabbing’.

You won't see travellers using dating apps. You are more likely to meet a boyfriend at an event.

Until they are engaged, some teenage traveller girls are subjected to the 'grabbing' courtship ritual, where a boy ‘grabs’ a girl they want to kiss. Strict rules stipulate girls aren't allowed to approach boys, so it's up to the males to tempt the girl away from her friends.

Caitlin says: “The only people that do it are probably 12 to maybe 13 year old boys, and that was like ten years ago. 

“Nowadays if that happens, I would be like ‘omg someone help me’, and everyone will be like ‘omg what are you doing?’”

And once they have got to the ‘talking’ stage, a typical date would be at cinema, bowling or food.

Lizzy: “You will usually go on a date after you have been chatting to the boy for around two or three weeks.

“The first few times when they ask you to meet them, you will say no – but when you finally say yes, he will come and pick you up.

“Then you will be with him for a few hours and try to get to know them and if you are more serious with him, you will go and meet other couples, and go on a double date.

“If you are more exclusive you will go to places and big events like Cambridge Fair.

“But that is only if you are serious with them, because you don’t want people to get the wrong idea.

“If a girl did that for every date she went on, it would seem like she has got loads of boyfriends and that wouldn’t be very good for her reputation.

“I don’t know any girl who kisses on the first date. I personally think you'd want to get to know your date a little better before you do.”

Caitlin, whose celebrity crush is actor Robert Pattison and Lizzy, who has her eyes on boxer Tommy Fury, both have a specific checklist when it comes to who they want to date. 

Caitlin says: “For me, my type is probably a boy with blue or green eyes, and taller than me.

“I don’t care if they are like 6ft 10, I just want them to be taller. 

“For the personality, I don’t want them too serious because I tend to joke a lot. 

“I don’t want someone to be like ‘oh you hurt my feelings’ I want someone to joke a lot, and like banter back to me, I don’t want someone who is obsessed with themselves.”

Lizzy adds: “My type I would have to say is brown hair, green to hazel eyes, tanned, tall and that's it looks wise. 

“Personality wise, I like a sweetheart, someone who is nice and caring. I hate arrogant people who think they are God's gift, it’s like no stay away from me. 

“I just like someone who is really considerate.”

Besides this, if the strict rules are not followed, it could tarnish their name and prevent them from meeting any future husbands. 

A scandal and travels fast in our community. It can ruin a girls reputation

Lizzy says: “If a girl runs away with a boy she would have to marry him as soon as she returned home or she would be disowned from her family.

“In my family you have to get married before you have children, but I’m not saying that is for every traveller family.

“We don’t know anyone this has happened to personally, but it is just a rule that goes without saying within the community.” 

Even though this might sound like an episode from the Netflix show Bridgerton, these Irish siblings, from St Albans are happy with the rules. 

Lizzy says: “We respect all of the traditions and rules. Bridgerton is very similar to the travelling community, and some things are just identical, the scandals and how we are all very family orientated is very similar to the show.”

Caitlin adds: “A scandal is very big, and travels fast in our community. 

“It can ruin a girls reputation, so people might not want to marry her, or message her, or anything like that, and it can tarnish their reputation. 

“I feel like with the travelling community, there's a lot of news carrying, people saying ‘oh did you hear that?’ and that is kind of like Lady Whistledown.”

Weddings are also a big part of the travelling community as it is the start of womanhood and the end of their childhood – just like in Bridgerton. 

Lizzy says: “The girls have extravagant weddings. The bigger the dress, the bigger the cakes, the better. 

“We make big deals out of events, like weddings, parties and that, and it is where you will find your ‘suitor’.

“We like to go over the top and get the best of the best because chances are this will be our only wedding.

“I always think a girl will get her wedding dress bespoke as she wants to wear something special to her that nobody else has worn.

“Many girls will go to a private dressmaker and design their dream dress.

“It is hard to say how much people spend because I think it varies, some people do prefer small weddings and some prefer to go all out. 

“I will go for a mermaid shaped one and I would probably have a diamond tiara as well, and I’d love to get married abroad and have a lovely beach wedding.”

We make big deals out of events, like weddings, parties and that, and it is where you will find your ‘suitor’

Caitlin adds: “Like in Bridgerton where they have dowries, we don’t have that but instead, the father of the bride will pay for the whole wedding.

“Like the traveller girls love the big dress, big hair, big event, that lot and that is what they will pay for. The only thing the boy has to pay for is his suit.”

The girls also want to bust the myths about arranged marriages. 

Lizzy says: “We don’t have them. You pick who you want a relationship with, that's how it works, whether you meet them in real life, or you talk to them first on social media like it is up to you. 

“A boy doesn’t have to have permission from your family to go on a date with you, but the girl will go out with her mummy, and say ‘am I allowed to go out on a date with him?’ and her mummy will say ‘ok, be back at this time.’” 

Lizzy adds: “And if her father wants to know where she is, the mummy will say she is out with girls or friends.”

But for now, even though the girls aren’t looking for love and want to focus on their careers and social media channels, they haven’t got their barriers completely closed. 

Lizzy says: “I don’t have a boyfriend, Caitlin doesn’t have a boyfriend. 

If my Prince Charming comes into my life tomorrow morning, I am not going to say no.

“We don’t know how or when it is going to plan out, and so whatever happens, happens.

“When you find the one you’ll know. I wouldn’t go out of my way to say I need to find someone.  What will be will be.

“If my Prince Charming comes into my life tomorrow morning, I am not going to say no.” 

Caitlin adds: “Plans change everyday. I live by the motto of, ‘live your life until love is found’.”

Previously, Caravan Queens revealed that people think travellers don't go to school, can't read or write & girls have to become housewives…but this is truth

And before that the Caravan Queens revealed how their home is full of gold china, diamante sofas & Dunelm buys as well as a trailer for their designer bags.

Follow the sisters @caitlinkmac & @lizzyymac for more updates on Instagram and you can also follow them on TikTok 

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