Duggar Family Romance Rules: ‘Counting On’ Clan Takes Love Language To New Level
Finding true love is challenging enough…. but the “Counting On” Duggar family has added new layers of complexity with their romance rules. Read on to discover how the Duggars define courtship versus dating versus engagements.
“Counting On Clan: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Many of us have grown up in families with expectations about our futures. Perhaps our parents pressured us to get good grades in school, pushing us to attend college even though we might secretly have longed to become a chef…or an auto mechanic…or an artist.
But for the Duggars, regardless of education, marriage seems to have become a requirement. Leading up to that wedding ceremony, there are even more expectations.
Rules exist for everything from dating to courting to betrothal. Here’s what we know about what matriarch Michelle Duggar and patriarch Jim Bob Duggar have told the “Counting On” clan about romance.
Dating: He Asks, She Says ‘Yes’ But Only With A Chaperone
Not surprisingly in the male-dominated Duggar family, the man does the asking. And a date is never just a casual, “Hey, girlfriend, want to go to a party Saturday night?” (The answer to that would be, “Excuse me, I’m a Duggar.”)
Duggars don’t date. Then how, I know you’re asking, do they end up married? Well, the Duggars follow a ritual they call “courting,” which is sort of like dating, except much more serious. According to the Duggars, they don’t date in the traditional sense of the word.
Instead, Duggar offspring are taught that dating is a way to determine compatibility with a potential husband or wife. And if you think a kiss on the cheek is part of a so-called “normal” modest date, be aware of who’s watching!
The Duggars are allowed to date only accompanied by a chaperone. That individual is assigned to watch the dating duo follow the rules and to tell their parents what happened (forget the “two’s company, three’s a crowd” theory of dating when you’re a Duggar — it’s more like “two’s company, three’s required!”).
Courtship: A Kiss Isn’t Just A Kiss
If you think that dating with a chaperone sounds like a challenge, prepare yourself for the Duggar family’s courtship rules.
The “Counting On” clan contrasts what the Duggars view as “modern dating” with their own rules for courtship:
● The Duggar family feels that most people today view dating as a “casual romantic relationship between two people for the purpose of having fun and enjoying one another. The dating relationship may or may not be for the purpose of marriage.”
● The “Counting On” clan points out that typically, the dating couple spends their time together, including “heavy doses of physical intimacy” that is “just for fun” with no “accountability from family, friends, or mentors.”
● In contrast, the Duggars don’t use dating to try to find partners to help them enjoy life currently. Dating is all about seeking a potential marriage partner.
● “Courtship strives to answer the question, “How can I honor God and discern His direction regarding my life partner?”
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Ultimately, Michelle and Jim Bob instruct their children to focus on using courtship to make “a commitment to honor and protect both individuals in the process of getting to know one another.” The kids are expected to ask their parents and other mentors, such as church leaders, for guidance in seeking “God’s direction for the specific steps of their courtship.”
To Wed or Not to Wed? That Is The Question
During the courtship, Duggar family members are encouraged to focus on determining whether marriage is the right next step. And they determine that by deciding “whether they can serve and honor God better together than apart.”
In essence, the goal of courting isn’t to decide if the couple is in love. Instead, “the goal of a courtship relationship is to determine if the couple should get married or not, according to God’s direction,” according to the “Counting On” courtship rules.
And there’s some incentive to tie the knot. According to the Duggar family rules, couples must wait until their wedding day to lock lips. We just hope that first kiss has some, ahem, chemistry!