The Duggar family has its own set of rules when it comes to dating, including specific stages of relationships that couples must pass through. One important stage is "courting," and another member of the family has reportedly just entered that stage with a significant other: Josiah Duggar could be courting, according to Inquisitr, and if these reports are true, it seems to be getting serious.
UPDATE: Josiah Duggar officially announced on Tuesday, Jan. 23, that he is courting 18-year-old Lauren Swanson, according to People. He told the publication in a statement:
We are overjoyed to begin this new phase of our lives together. 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 imagine. ... It’s truly an exciting time for us, as we take this big step in establishing a relationship, getting to know one another even better and praying together toward our future. We are thankful to God and our families for the love and support we’ve received in starting this new chapter of life and look forward to sharing it with others as the future unfolds.
EARLIER: Josiah Duggar, one of the younger members of the family, is reportedly courting someone new, according to In Touch Weekly. Rumors ran rampant after fans spotted him with a brunette lady in videos on a recent family vacation to Australia, the publication reported. This new face is reported to be a long-time family friend, according to Inquisitr, adding that on the joint vacation the two were signing books for fans as a couple, writing "Lauren & Josiah Duggar." The Hollywood Gossip reported that inside sources said that the family was treating her like the guest of honor, and seating her conspicuously next to Josiah at public events.
This isn't the first time that the 20-year-old was in the news for (possibly) courting someone. He was recently in a relationship with another family friend, Marjorie Jackson, who he began dating in 2015.
After a four-month courtship that was kept mostly out of the spotlight, parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar announced on the family's Facebook page that the two had ended their time together, according to ABC News, saying:
Both Josiah and Marjorie have enjoyed getting to know each other and to build their friendship over the past months. We are so grateful that they each are seeking the Lord’s will for their future. A few weeks ago Marjorie and Josiah agreed to end their courtship, keeping in step with what they believe the Lord’s will is.
Shortly after, Josiah issued a statement of his own, explaining to People why the relationship ended:
Marjorie and I had a good time together. We were just trying to follow God's lead on everything. She didn't feel that it was the right timing then, so we called it quits for a bit. We have time to grow … you never know. But when you think about a girl to marry, you ask what kind of guy she would want to marry and you try to be that kind of guy.
The open-ended nature of his comments led some to believe that he and Jackson may get back together, but news of his getaway with a new lady may have squashed any hopes of that.
Courting is a necessary part the process if you're interested in being with a Duggar. Josh Duggar described it to People in as, "a path toward marriage." During this time, couples spend time around family members with supervision, never alone, according to People. Also, the only physical contact during courting is a series of side hugs. Mom Michelle explained why. "Emotions get heated the closer you get," she said, according to People. "You’re like two magnets being pulled together. You need boundaries."
After courting comes engagement — and with it, handholding — then marriage. That's right, there's no kissing until the wedding day for these couples. If Josiah is indeed courting as the reports state, he very well may be on his way to marriage.
The Duggars have yet to issue and official statement as to whether or not Josiah is indeed courting again, but considering Michelle and Jim Bob's propensity to weigh in on their children's relationships, one is likely to come soon. Who knows, maybe it will come up on the newest season of Counting On.
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