“Jer came on the scene, and I think my hesitation was mainly because of him being outside of my world,” Jinger, 29, told Us Weekly in an interview published on Tuesday, January 31, about the early days of her relationship with Jeremy, 35. “And that can be a fearful thing when you’re in that culture.”
After meeting in 2015, the couple announced their courtship in June 2016. Jeremy proposed one month later during a trip to New York City.
While Jinger admitted she wasn’t completely sold on the former soccer player early on in their relationship, she ultimately accepted his proposal. They tied the knot five months later in November 2016.
“I had such confidence, though,” the Counting On alum told Us. “I remember coming back [from a date] and telling my mom, ‘I feel so safe with him. Like he is everything that I’ve ever wanted.’”
Jinger – who was raised to follow the non-denominational Christian teachings of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) – continued, “He wasn’t in our setting, which is just crazy to think about, but he loved God, and he was committed to the word of God and lived his life according to it. And that’s where I found, ‘OK, this guy is an awesome guy.’ It’s exactly what I’ve wanted.”
Similar to her older siblings, Jinger and Jeremy followed a courtship in which her father, Jim Bob Duggar, had to approve of him before the duo were able to spend time together. Once he expressed approval, the pair had to be chaperoned and weren’t allowed to be physically intimate.
“It was intense, but I was actually pretty eager to fill it out and say, ‘OK, look, this is a good opportunity for them to get to know me,’” Jeremy previously told Us Weekly in April 2021 about a questionnaire he received from the Duggar patriarch, 57, before he was allowed to court Jinger. “It’s tough for Mr. Duggar, man. He’s got all these girls [and] all these guys hanging around. I think if I had all those girls, I’d probably come up with a document too.”
After tying the knot, the couple welcomed their first daughter, Felicity, in 2018, and their second daughter, Evangeline, in 2020.
While promoting her memoir, Becoming Free Indeed, which was released on Tuesday, January 31, Jinger said her thoughts on dating have changed since her courtship.
“I would look at people who are dating and think, ‘Oh, they are setting themselves up for a life of disaster because this can’t lead anywhere good,’” she told People.
However, she noted that she’s since seen “more people honor God — and live a very beautiful life — who have dated, and sometimes even better than courtship.”
“I could be so consumed with that — with having a chaperone, with not kissing before you’re married, and not holding hands before you’re engaged,” the former TLC personality added. “All of these things that I had set up for myself that now I kind of laugh at.”
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