"Courting is getting to know each other in a group setting, both families spending time together and the couple setting goals together to determine if they are meant to marry," Jessa's father, Jim Bob Duggar, explained. "With dating, a couple with often pair off alone and that sometimes leads to a more physical relationship."
So far, the Duggar patriarch is very happy with the way the relationship is progressing. "They are enjoying getting to know each other and are recommending sermons to one another," he said.
Jessa, 20, and Seewald, 18, met at church and asked their parents' permission to talk via text and phone. Jessa's parents agreed and even oversaw the young couple's correspondence. "Courtship is not just about having fun," Michelle Duggar said. "You are really considering if this person could be your life partner — you pray about it and see what happens."
Out of all the men who have approached Jim Bob about courting Jessa, Seewald is the first to gain the picky father's approval. And keeping with family tradition, the couple has decided to wait on having almost any physical contact until much later. "Dad allowed them to do a side hug when they were officially courting," Michelle explained. "Jessa and Ben have said that was the only contact they would have, when they initially greet each other. When he comes to visit for their first hello, they have a quick 30-second-or-less side hug and a goodbye side hug and they agreed that would be the only contact they should have."
Should be a scandalous next season of 19 Kids and Counting! Will you watch?
- Family & Relationships