The Real Reason the Duggars Require Chaperones on Their Dates

When 19 Kids and Counting aired on TLC, fans were fascinated with the Duggar way of life. It all started with Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, an ultra-conservative and religious couple who wanted to have as many children as God would gift them with — and that turned out to be a whopping 19 kids. Though 19 Kids and Counting is no longer on the air, fans still get to keep up with the Duggars on TLC’s Counting OnAnd many of the children who we remember as just teens back in the early 2000s are now all grown up with families of their own.

When it comes to marrying a Duggar, there are plenty of rules that must be followed, however. And one of them is that a chaperone must be present during the courting of the women. Here’s why the Duggars require a family member to chaperone their dates.

The Duggars have strict dating rules they must follow

Dating a Duggar is not a simple task, as they technically don’t “date,” but rather, they “court.” Jim Bob explains that “courtship is really waiting for the one God has for you and praying through the whole process,” Today explains — so it’s certainly not as casual as a typical date. Jim Bob also needs to approve of every courtship for the Duggar women, too, so they can’t just date anyone. And approving of the courtship is just where the rules begin.

Once the courtship is approved, the Duggar ladies are not allowed to have any chest-to-chest contact with their potential husband, TLC explains. Not only that, but there’s also no hand-holding, certainly no kissing, no alcohol, and nothing inappropriate whatsoever. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are also CC’d on every text between the Duggar daughter and her suitor. And, of course, there’s a chaperone present for every outing — though this chaperone isn’t necessarily one of the parents. A sibling can also serve as a perfectly good second pair of eyes.

Chaperones help to ‘keep things from going in the wrong direction’

It’s not that Jim Bob and Michelle don’t trust their daughters in making the right decisions while on dates, but rather they want to make sure a second person is there to hold the couple accountable for their courtship promises. According to Today, Michelle has mentioned, “There are a lot of things you can learn from not pairing off alone.” In regards to having a chaperone, she’s also said, “Before you get emotionally attached, you want to know who they are deep inside. That’s easier when you have more eyes looking out for you.”

So, who can be a chaperone in the Duggar family? Michelle has mentioned on the Duggar family blog that any family member over the age of 10 can do the job. And at the beginning of a courtship, the couple writes out their commitments to each other to be shared with the chaperone. “The chaperones then have clear guidance on what is acceptable and what is not,” Michelle wrote.

Do the Duggars like chaperoning each other? Probably not

It seems the Duggar women don’t mind having another family member watching over their date, but do the chaperones enjoy the process? In Touch Weekly reminds us of the funny things the Duggar kids have said regarding the process. Jill has said in the past (with an eye roll) that “you have to have a lot of patience to just sit there and listen to ‘I love you, I love you’,” so it seems she may not be the biggest fan. And we remember when Jinger sarcastically commented that chaperoning “was great” on camera when she was watching over one of her sister’s courtships.

Will the Duggar children who are married continue the courtship ritual? We’re not sure — but it seems many of the kids weren’t huge fans of it to begin with, so we wouldn’t be surprised if they ditched the antiquated practice.

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