‘Welcome to Plathville’: Olivia Plath Says She Didn’t Like Ethan Plath When She First Met Him ‘At All’—But Something Changed All That

Olivia and Ethan Plath of TLC’s Welcome to Plathville have been struggling in their marriage this season. The 22-year-olds cut off contact with Ethan’s strict parents, Kim and Barry Plath, and most of the Plath family after in-law drama threatened the newlyweds’ relationship.

In a recent Welcome to Plathville segment, “Olivia’s Story,” Olivia reflected on meeting Ethan for the first time when they were both just 16 years old. While Olivia wasn’t a big fan of her husband at first, her feelings changed when he showed her that he wasn’t like the other men she’d known growing up.

Olivia thought Ethan seemed ‘immature’ at first

Ethan and Olivia met at a Christian summer camp for homeschooling families in North Carolina when they were both just 16 years old.

Ethan was immediately head-over-heels for Olivia. But that feeling definitely wasn’t reciprocated on her end. In fact, she thought Ethan was over-the-top and annoying much of the time.

“When Ethan and I first met, I did not like him at all,” Olivia laughed. “To me, he just seemed really immature and really childish. And he followed me around everywhere.”

The Welcome to Plathville star admitted that everyone thought they were dating because they spent so much time together. But Olivia thought of Ethan as more of a “little boy” than a love interest. 

The ‘Welcome to Plathville’ star particularly didn’t want to date someone in her faith

Like her future husband, Olivia came from a large family who lived on a farm and adhered to Christian fundamentalist tenets. But the Welcome to Plathville star began taking steps to change her lifestyle at an early age.

So, when Ethan showed interest in her, she couldn’t have been less impressed at first. After all, dating Ethan could mean getting stuck in her family’s way of life for good. When Olivia’s family began to tease her about Ethan’s crush on her, she started panicking and denying it all the more.

“He came from a culture I wanted to get away from,” Oliva explained. She was questioning everything and knew she wanted more out of life than what she’d seen so far. The 22-year-old worried that getting involved with someone like Ethan would put her “back in that bubble” – which was exactly where she didn’t want to be.


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Ethan changed Olivia’s mind about him when he showed he wasn’t intimidated by her success

Although Olivia wasn’t keen on dating Ethan at first, the teens wrote letters to each other after they met that fateful summer. Over the years, Olivia realized that Ethan had more progressive ideas – particularly about women’s independence and career goals – than most of the men she knew growing up.

Olivia already worked in construction. Many people around her thought her choice of a first job was strange, especially because it was such a male-dominated field. What’s more, the Welcome to Plathville star began to build a photography portfolio and eventually started her own professional wedding photography business.

But much to her surprise, Ethan wasn’t intimidated or turned off by his girlfriend’s dreams. Instead, he admired her tenacity and creativity.

“One thing I really admired about him was the way he respected me, having grown up in a church where women didn’t have a voice and it was a very patriarchal society,” Olivia said of her husband. “I felt so empowered when he supported me in the early stages of dating.”

Even when the teens were just friends, Olivia explained that Ethan often praised her for starting her own business and “doing her own thing.”

“It meant so much, because all the young guys I knew back at home were like, ‘Yeah, well, what are you going to settle down and get married?’” Olivia reflected. “The fact that Ethan supported me outside of that and saw that I had worth outside of being a mom or a wife – he was the only guy I ever me who was like that.”

The Welcome to Plathville star said that her heart eventually began to soften toward Ethan, particularly because she knew he would never hold her back from her dreams. Instead, he made it clear from the beginning that he respected her and valued her opinion as much as his own.