TLC’s 19 Kids & Counting was a reality television show centered around the lives of a devout Christian family with very particular world views. Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar’s goal was to raise their 19 - wonderfully, thematically named - children to be modest, pure, and adherent to a long list of things a Duggar simply doesn't do. The main draw of the show quickly shifted from the family’s massive size to the absurdity of the Duggar dating rules.
Duggars are not allowed to date in the casual sense. Sure, promoting purity before marriage is a nice idea, but, according to Duggar rules, there is no touching of any kind, and that includes kissing and hand holding. Private communication and spending time alone together are unheard of, to boot. Duggars don't simply impart values on their children and trust them to have the self control and integrity to follow through of their own volition. It kind of makes you wonder: are all these relationships really matches made in heaven, or are these kids marrying young out of sexual frustration?
There Is No ‘Dating’ Only Courting
What’s the difference between dating and courting? Well courting is dating with a purpose, which is something everyone may actually want to consider doing. While modern dating is all about “shopping around” and keeping your options open, courting is more about building a foundation for a real relationship between the individuals and their families with the goal of determining if they should marry or not.
Once You’ve Wed, You Better Bed (Often)
With all the restraint this family practices, it’s no wonder they are all about having lots of sex after those vows. Now of course it’s all about showing love and creating children (that’s why Michelle bore 19 of them). As Michelle put it, "You always need to be available when he calls." Jim Bob Happily added, "We're like a newlywed couple every day!"
Divorce Is Not An Option
Marriage is forever for the Duggar family. However, there’s a difference between standing by your mate because you want to and staying with them because you have to.
Considering the the double life Josh Duggar was outed as leading in 2015, everyone expected his wife Anna to head for the hills. Nope, she denies all the divorce rumors and is staying firmly planted by her child molesting, porn addicted, cheating husband. She won’t even discuss divorce as a possibility and has even been made to feel as if she should “shoulder some of the blame” for his actions. In fact, in 2017, Anna even became pregnant with the couple's fifth child.
All Dates Must Be Chaperoned
That’s right, the Duggar parents go out on all the children’s dates with them. If for some reason a parent can’t attend, they send a cluster of siblings along to kill the mood. According to Jim Bob, this tactic is simply to "keep things from going in the wrong direction."