Jessa Duggar: Dating Ben Seewald, Saving First Kiss For Marriage

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Jessa Duggar, the 20-year-old daughter of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, is currently in a courtship with 18-year-old Ben Seewald, according to reports.

Jessa Duggar, Boyfriend

The lovebirds, who met in church, are "enjoying getting to know each other and are recommending sermons to one another," Jim Bob tells People.

He and his wife are "so excited" for Jessa and Ben.

As for the difference between courting and dating?

Jim Bob explains that courting is much more formal process, which often takes place in a larger group, whereas dating is more of a one-on-one thing:

"Courting is getting to know each other in a group setting, both families spending time together and the couple setting goals to determine if they are meant to marry."

And then there's the rub you might have expected: "With dating, a couple will often pair off alone and that sometimes leads to a more physical relationship."

Mother Michelle Duggar also adds that courting is a serious process, where a couple puts deep considering into the notion of starting a family together:

"Courtship is not just about having fun. You are really considering if this person could be your life partner ... you pray about it and see what happens."

After the couple met, they asked their parents for permission to correspond via text and on the phone, and while the Duggars agreed, the pair has little privacy.

Jim Bob and Michelle are a part of the duo's texting conversation.

"Jessa has a very steady personality," Michelle says of her third daughter. "It has been interesting to watch their interactions because for her personality type."

"They share very similar beliefs. It has been fun to watch them and both of our phones are going off back and forth, ping, ping, ping."

They still plan to wait before becoming intimate with one another, too.

"Dad allowed them to do a side hug when they were officially courting," Michelle says. "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."

"They want to wait on the physical relationship until later," she adds.

"If there is an engagement, they will work together on their goals and standards for that. All of our family is involved in this relationship. It is an exciting time."

That's one word for it ...

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If all children were raised this way they would be porly educated and afradi of their own shadows. The Duggars are Chrisitan Fundamentalist and part fo the QUiverfull movement. The beliefs are fear and guilt based. You are made to believe every thought you have of the opposite gender is dirty. Obviously the Duggars don't trust their system or Jessa woudln't need to be monitred like a 12 yr old. It fails to teach them some thoughts and feelings are natural part of growing up. You can't shield kids forever. Sooner or later they have to face the real world. The way the Duggar kids are controlled is doing them a disservice..

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t bothers me that Michelle & Jim-Bob had normal high school upbringings...i.e. dating, sports, cheerleading, friends, etc. but the deny all those things to their children. Their children are so sheltered that they cannot even have friends in their community. They have home-school friends that they only see a couple times a year. They have the Bates family that they only see a couple times a year. How sad. And what about the older kids? They are not even courting. Aren't they losing valuable child-bearing/making years if they are expected to have a quiverfull? They cannot go out alone...who will yell"nike" if something inappropriate happens by! They monitor Jessa's texts!! Don't they trust her? Sad.

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t bothers me that Michelle & Jim-Bob had normal high school upbringings...i.e. dating, sports, cheerleading, friends, etc. but the deny all those things to their children. Their children are so sheltered that they cannot even have friends in their community. They have home-school friends that they only see a couple times a year. They have the Bates family that they only see a couple times a year. How sad. And what about the older kids? They are not even courting. Aren't they losing valuable child-bearing/making years if they are expected to have a quiverfull? They cannot go out alone...who will yell"nike" if something inappropriate happens by! They monitor Jessa's texts!! Don't they trust her? Sad.

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t bothers me that Michelle & Jim-Bob had normal high school upbringings...i.e. dating, sports, cheerleading, friends, etc. but the deny all those things to their children. Their children are so sheltered that they cannot even have friends in their community. They have home-school friends that they only see a couple times a year. They have the Bates family that they only see a couple times a year. How sad. And what about the older kids? They are not even courting. Aren't they losing valuable child-bearing/making years if they are expected to have a quiverfull? They cannot go out alone...who will yell"nike" if something inappropriate happens by! They monitor Jessa's texts!! Don't they trust her? Sad.

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t bothers me that Michelle & Jim-Bob had normal high school upbringings...i.e. dating, sports, cheerleading, friends, etc. but the deny all those things to their children. Their children are so sheltered that they cannot even have friends in their community. They have home-school friends that they only see a couple times a year. They have the Bates family that they only see a couple times a year. How sad. And what about the older kids? They are not even courting. Aren't they losing valuable child-bearing/making years if they are expected to have a quiverfull? They cannot go out alone...who will yell"nike" if something inappropriate happens by! They monitor Jessa's texts!! Don't they trust her? Sad.

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t bothers me that Michelle & Jim-Bob had normal high school upbringings...i.e. dating, sports, cheerleading, friends, etc. but the deny all those things to their children. Their children are so sheltered that they cannot even have friends in their community. They have home-school friends that they only see a couple times a year. They have the Bates family that they only see a couple times a year. How sad. And what about the older kids? They are not even courting. Aren't they losing valuable child-bearing/making years if they are expected to have a quiverfull? They cannot go out alone...who will yell"nike" if something inappropriate happens by! They monitor Jessa's texts!! Don't they trust her? Sad.

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@ Lynne

Courtship is a horrible mistake. Just look how Josh and Anna's marriage is falling apart ;-)

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@ candy

I don't think its sad at all. I think its awesome. They are raising their children the way they fell they should be raised. Trying to prevent them from the temptations of this world that can cause your people to make poor decisions. If all children were raised this way the world would be a much better place.

The Duggar Family Quotes

When you've missed [sex] for seven days, you look forward to it even more! - Michelle Duggar

Be available. Anyone can fix him lunch, but only one person can meet that physical need of love that he has, and you always need to be available when he calls. - Michelle Duggar

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