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Forget vacations, marriages, and babies (for now!), the theme of the newest season of TLC’s hit reality series 19 Kids and Counting, is courting.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are preparing to add two new members to their super-sized family as daughters Jill, 22, and Jessa, 20, have each entered courtships with their respective suitors, Derick Dillard, 25, and Ben Seewald, 18.
But, don’t expect late-night texting or movie nights with the girls—the process of courting a Duggar daughter is highly supervised and involves a dedication to abiding by some strict rules!
Check out these definitive Do’s and Don’ts of courting with the Duggars:
Do prepare to meet the entire family. “The brothers can see how they treat mom and dad, or see whether they show the sisters respect,” Michelle told TODAY.
Do get on Dad’s good side. Jim Bob reportedly fields letters, calls and emails each week from guys who want to enter courtships with his daughters and he always has the final say.
Do always bring a chaperone when you’re visiting or going out. “Having that accountability really keeps things from going in the wrong direction,” Jim Bob says.
Do take advantage of your one-hour phone conversation per night. It’s the only form of communication allowed that isn’t totally supervised.
Don’t confuse courting with dating. Courting is “dating with a purpose,” Jim Bob told TODAY, and is focused on discovering if a person would make a good spouse.
Don’t be caught holding hands or kissing! Jessa and Ben have reportedly agreed to wait until they are engaged to hold hands and until they are married to have their first kiss.
Don’t forget Jim Bob and Michelle are reading your texts. Be sure to stick to topics like your future together, parenting ideas and Bible scripture.
Don’t worry; you can’t really fail at courting. According to Jim Bob, it’s just about getting to know someone better!
By Julia Birkinbine/@juliabirkinbine