It looks like Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo are going to follow Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s strict courtship rules, which means that their dates will be chaperoned and their text messages will be monitored. This also means that Jim Bob and Michelle might play a larger role in the upcoming season of Counting On, as they explain the difference between dating and courtship for the umpteenth time and tag along whenever Jinger and Jeremy go out on a mini-golf date.
The Duggar Family News: Life Is Not All Pickles and Hairspray Facebook page recently shared a photo of Jinger Duggar, Jeremy Vuolo, Jim Bob, and Michelle Duggar at the Taquito Ravis restaurant in Laredo, Texas. The couples were seemingly there on a double date.
— SweetLoring (@SweetLoring) June 23, 2016
Jinger Duggar’s beau currently lives in Laredo, where he works as a pastor at the Grace Community Church. Pickles and Hairspray speculates that the Duggars were visiting his home with the TLC cameras in tow to film a Counting On segment about Jeremy Vuolo’s church. Most 22-year-old girls wouldn’t need their parents tagging along for such a trip, but Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s adult children follow a set of strict courtship rules. According to TLC, interested suitors must “go through Jim Bob” before they begin a courtship with a Duggar daughter, and all dating Duggars must be accompanied by one or more chaperones whenever they go out with their boyfriends.
These chaperones are often Jim Bob and Michelle, who once attracted the attention of VH1’s Best Week Ever by joining Ben Seewald and Jessa Duggar on an awkward mini-golf date. Jim Bob told the young couple to watch while he stood behind Michelle and moved in a way that was rather sexual in nature.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, 28-year-old Jeremy Vuolo is a college graduate who isn’t as sheltered as Jinger Duggar. He’s admitted to drinking alcohol and partying, and he’s hinted that he’s not a virgin. However, as Us Weekly reports, he and Jinger have already made it clear that they are “courting,” not dating. This means that Jeremy will have to play by Jim Bob Duggar’s rules, which includes no hand-holding until Jeremy and Jinger are engaged and no kissing until their wedding day. Jim Bob and Michelle may also monitor Jeremy and Jinger’s text messages to and from each other.
Because Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar play such a huge part in their children’s premarital love lives, it’s safe to assume that they won’t be relegated to the background when their family’s TLC reality series returns later this summer. According to a press release, the title of Jill & Jessa: Counting On has even been shortened to Counting On, so it seems as though Jill and Jessa won’t be the main focus of the retooled show. What viewers see may closely resemble 19 Kids and Counting, but there’s no word on whether Josh Duggar will make an appearance on Counting On.
The actions of Josh, Jim Bob, and Michelle played a part in TLC’s decision to cancel 19 Kids and Counting last summer. As Entertainment Weekly reports, the network gave the show the ax after Josh Duggar’s sexual molestation scandal caused advertisers to bail on TLC. Last May, Josh Duggar was forced to confess to sexually molesting four of his younger sisters and another girl as a teenager after In Touch Weekly obtained police reports documenting the abuse that went on in the Duggar household. According to the police reports, Josh kept coming to his parents to confess that he was molesting his younger sisters, but Jim Bob and Michelle allowed the sexual abuse to keep happening by failing to alert the proper authorities.
TLC eventually brought most of the Duggars back in the three-part Jill & Jessa: Counting special, and the subsequent series of the same name. Josh did not appear on the show, but his parents spent more and more time in front of the TLC cameras as the series went on. It will definitely be difficult to keep Jim Bob and Michelle in the background if Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo start planning a televised wedding, and perhaps TLC will just risk a potential backlash and give Jim Bob and Michelle a similar amount of screen time to what they enjoyed on the episodes of 19 Kids and Counting that followed Jill and Jessa Duggar’s courtships.
[Image via TLC/YouTube]