Fans Think The Duggar Family is Loosening Up Their Courtship Rules

Are the Duggars getting with the times and letting go of their ultra-strict courtship rules? It sounds crazy to say, but some fans think the Duggar patriarch is starting to loosen up a little bit about dating. A slew of now-married Duggars have defied several of the family’s dating rules with no obvious ill-effects, and now Jana Duggar has admitted to having had a few relationships in the past. Could Jana’s admission spell the end for the bevy of rules imposed on romantic couples in the family?

Fans think the rules are being relaxed because they just don’t work

According to forum users at, The Duggar family might be slowly phasing out some of their stricter courtship rules after seeing they simply don’t work. Several well-known families in the Duggar’s religious sect have experienced failures in the courtship process; there have even been a couple of failed marriages within the ultra-conservative Christian group.

The Duggar family is no stranger to failed courtships themselves. Josiah Duggar, now married to Lauren Swanson, entered into a courtship in 2015 with Marjorie Jackson. Jackson and Josiah called off the courtship a few months later and went their separate ways.

The Bates family, who are close friends with the super-sized family, have also endured a couple of love failures, too. Nathan Bates ended a courtship when it became clear that his wants didn’t align with the wants of his New York City-based lady friend. Zach Bates also called it quits with a former love before meeting and marrying his current wife.

What rules seem to be completely nixed?

Eagle-eyed fans have noticed that Jinger, Joy-Anna, Josiah, and John all engaged in full-frontal hugs prior to their marriage. During Jessa, Jill and even Joshua’s courtships, full-frontal hugs were completely off the table. Couples were allowed to side-hug during the courtship and moved onto hand holding once engaged, but any additional physical affection was prohibited.

Joshua Duggar, Michelle, and Jim Bob’s firstborn was the first to court and appeared to have the strictest rules surrounding physical affection. Not only were Josh and Anna not allowed to spend a second alone together, but there was a strict halt on anything that could be considered affectionate touching. We all know how that ended up working out – hint: all has not always been well for Josh and Anna.

Jessa and Ben Seewald abided by similar rules. The couple were not allowed to spend time alone together and avoided physical contact up until their wedding day. In fact, the pair took off down the aisle to share their first kiss as husband and wife. Jessa did admit that she snuck off to have private conversations with Ben during their dating days. They seem happily in love and are now expecting their third child together.

What courtship rules are more relaxed than they have been?

Blame it on the fact that most of the adult Duggars have been married off by now, or blame it on the older couples actually setting their own rules, but it doesn’t look like all of the Duggar kids are carting chaperones with them when they hit the town with their loves. Duggar fans allege that John and Abbie had more alone time than any other Duggar couple during their courtship. It is rumored that they were seen out and about, sans chaperone, on multiple occasions.

Jinger and Jeremy also snuck some cute moments in, despite always having someone around to keep them honest. A hand on the shoulder or waist might not seem like a big deal to most people, but to the Duggar family, it is downright scandalous. Jeremy and Jinger have been happily breaking all manner of Dugger family rules since their wedding in 2016.