There are many, many strange aspects of life within the Duggar clan, but few of them are as confusing or difficult to understand as the family’s infamous courtship rules.
The Duggars, as you know, are obsessed with marriage and breeding, but men and women are forbidden to even spend time alone together until after they’ve tied the knot.
That might seem a little counter-intuitive, but for reasons that aren’t completely clear, that’s the way Jim Bob likes it.
In addition to the lack of alone time, potential mates are barred from virtually all forms of physical contact, with “side-hugs” and brief periods of hand-holding serving as the only exceptions to the rule.
There have been rumors of various couples violating the Duggar courtship rules over the years, but they were just that — rumors.
But as much as he would probably like to, Jim Bob can’t keep an eye on his children every minute of every day.
So there were probably some stolen kisses and secretive front-hugs over the years, but until recently, that’s not the sort of thing that any Duggar child or in-law would confess to.
But Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard have been rewriting the family rules for several years now, and their latest attempt to give Jim Bob a conniption fit consists of Derick finally speaking candidly about the early days of their courtship.
Jill and Derick started dating eight years ago, while he was performing missionary work overseas.
He marked the anniversary of their date this week with a heartfelt Instagram post in which he made sure to note that the date was unchaperoned!
“8 years ago today I started dating my best friend @jillmdillard while I was working on the other side of the world!” Derick captioned the post.
“I definitely enjoyed our unchaperoned motorcycle ride around the area,” Dillard continued.
“And I have fond memories of the extra week we had over Thanksgiving to enjoy more intimate time together and get to know each other even better.”
Derick recently graduated from law school, and his recent experiences in academia might have inspired the metaphor that closed out his post.
“If I had a GED in knowing you then, I want a Ph.D. 50 years from now!”
For the most part, the comments on the post (before Derick turned them off) were positive and consisted of fans wishing the couple a happy anniversary,
“Aww! You’re the best man in the whole world! Love you loads babe,” Jill wrote in response to her husband’s kind words.
“Love this and your love story!! Happy Anniversary!!” rebellious cousin Amy Duggar chimed in,.
But many fans were focused on the fact that Derick seems to happy about this violation of his father-in-law’s rules so many years ago,
Some thought Derick was being suggestive with his comment about enjoying “more intimate time together,” but in all likelihood, Jill and Derick’s courtship was probably pretty chaste.
They just disregarded that dumb rule about couples not spending any time together, and we applaud them for that.
Jill cut ties with her parents several years ago in response to a series of very public disagreements, most of them about money.
Derick claims that Jim Bob stole millions from his kids by pocketing their TLC earnings, and he shocked fans by calling out his father-in-law’s shady practices in a lengthy Twitter rant.
So Jim Bob’s probably not terribly surprised that Derick is taking so much delight in flouting the courtship rules.
But we hope he’s filled with impotent rage over the fact that his son-in-law is absolutely dominating this feud!