Considering so many of John-David Duggar's younger siblings are already married with children, it's safe to say that fans were excited to learn that the 28-year-old Duggar is officially courting. On Tuesday, June 26, John-David and Abbie Grace Burnett, 26, announced that they are courting, the Duggar family's super-conservative version of dating. That being said, how did John-David Duggar and Abbie Grace Burnett meet and how did their love story get started?
The new couple confirmed the exciting news in a video for TLC, which was shared on the Duggar family blog. "We have some exciting news," John-David said in the video. "We are in a courtship," Abbie added with a smile, before launching into the story of how they met.
“Abbie and I are just so excited. We’ve known of each other for several years, but we didn’t meet till…” John-David said, before Abbie finished his sentence. (Looks like they're already on the same wavelength!) “...John flew in for a church event here in Oklahoma where I’m from," she added. "We really got connected then.” John-David added, "Yeah, a couple months ago, and we fell in love very quickly."
So basically, it seems like John-David and Abbie were in overlapping social circles for years, even though he lives in Arkansas and she lives in Oklahoma. Luckily, they finally connected at the Oklahoma church event, and the rest was history.
In the TLC video, the new couple also shared what courting has been like so far. "It’s been a wonderful journey thus far and taking the next step to move onto a courtship," John-David said. “A lot of prayer, a lot of counsel, a lot of time together," Abbie added.
Luckily, Arkansas borders Oklahoma, so John-David has been able to visit Abbie multiple times to get to know her and family, according to a post on TLC's website. Additionally, TLC added that in Oklahoma, Abbie works as a nurse.
In Arkansas, John-David has held a variety of jobs. In 2014, Duggar family matriarch Michelle Duggar wrote that John-David was in training to be a pilot, a fireman, and a police officer in a blog post on TLC's website. Then, a January 2015 post on the Duggar family's Facebook page revealed that John-David was working as a constable and construction worker in Arkansas, and that he had recently earned his pilot's license. Because both John-David and Abbie have great jobs, it will certainly be interesting to hear where the couple decides to live should they get married.
And, knowing the Duggars, an engagement and a wedding will likely come soon. Most of John-David's siblings have gone through the whole courtship/engagement/marriage/pregnant-with-their-first-child thing within a year or two. Not to mention, John-David is 28 and Abbie is 26 — a few years older than most of his siblings were when they started courting (for example, Joy-Anna, 20, is already married with a child) — so it will be interesting to see if John-David and Abbie follow the typical Duggar courtship timelines.
If you're unfamiliar with courting, the Duggars like to define it as "dating with a purpose" (the purpose being marriage and bearing children), TODAY reported. That process comes with plenty of rules, including: a chaperone must be present for all dates; a Duggar parent must be copied on all texting conversations; and physical contact is limited to side hugs (most Duggars save their first kisses for their wedding), according to TODAY.
John-David and Abbie have yet to comment on whether they'll be following the courting rules, but at the end of their courtship announcement video, they told fans to tune into Counting On, so it's safe to say that the show will probably document their courtship. Counting On returns July 30, so hopefully more about their relationship will be revealed then.