How Did Lauren Swanson & Josiah Duggar Meet? The Newly-Engaged Couple Goes Way Back

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Another day, another Duggar. And I mean that literally — it seems like just about every week another person joins the Duggar family, whether it's through an engagement, a marriage, or the birth of a new baby. The handful of Duggars who have already tied the knot met their spouses in a variety of ways, so fans of the oversized family are likely wondering: How did Josiah Duggar and Lauren Swanson meet?

Duggar, 21, and Swanson, 18 announced their engagement last week after about six weeks of courting (the Duggar family's ultra-conservative version of dating). It's pretty typical for a Duggar to get engaged after courting for such a short amount of time, but it makes even more sense for this couple, considering they have been friends for years, according to a statement Duggar provided to People. “We are overjoyed to begin this new phase of our lives together," he told the outlet when he and Swanson began courting back in January. "Through the years our families’ friendship has allowed us to get to know one another as friends. I can definitely say I have found a great friend … even better than I could have hoped for or imagined."

Duggar's statement to People continued:

I so appreciate Lauren’s Christlike character and tender heart toward others. She bring sunshine into the room and encourages everyone around her. It’s always stood out to me that in every situation, she looks for the one who appears to be sad or lonely and quickly can brighten their day by sharing words of hope, an encouraging scripture, a prayer or even a simple smile with them.

And in a blog post on the Duggar family website a week ago, the family reiterated that they've known Swanson and her family for a while.

We are so excited to announce that Josiah and Lauren are officially engaged!! We have prayed for many years that the Lord would bring the right spouses to each of our children. We have known Lauren and her family for a very long time and have seen how she has grown in her knowledge and understanding of the Lord. She is a wonderful, caring, compassionate young lady, full of zeal for Christ. We are very thankful for her.
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In fact, Swanson seems to be pretty close with some of Duggar's sisters. In a video for TLC, Duggar revealed how he asked Swanson to take things from friendship to courtship.

"I came up behind her at a meal while she was hanging out with some of my siblings and surprised her, and sat down and asked her, 'You wanna move to the next level, from friendship to courtship?'" he explained.

"I was very shocked when Josiah came by," Swanson said in the video. "I wasn't thinking he was supposed to be there, it was a girl's night out," she continued, adding that she was completely surprised.

He also caught her off guard when he asked her to marry him. "I'm very surprised. I'm kind of speechless," Swanson said in a video filmed for TLC shortly after she and Duggar got engaged.

“The place where I proposed to Lauren is the exact spot where her parents were engaged," Duggar explained to Us Weekly. "There’s a lot of family history on this property, making it a special place for Lauren."

These two aren't the only Duggar couple to have gotten engaged after a long friendship. Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth, who got married last year and welcomed their first baby last month, were friends for 15 years through church before they started courting.

It's clear that Josiah Duggar and Lauren Swanson's relationship was built on the foundation of a strong friendship, and it will be interesting to see where their partnership takes them.

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