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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.

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.

Duggar Christmas Group Shot

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 …