Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell are currently on their honeymoon, so they’ve put their side-hugging days behind them for good. However, the couple’s courtship was just beginning on the season premiere of Counting On.
During the episode, Joseph revealed the sneaky plan he had devised to surprise Kendra with a courtship proposal. He needed plenty of help to pull it off without a hitch, which meant that he had to let some of his siblings in on it. The 22-year-old Duggar son set the plan into motion by inviting 19-year-old Kendra to accompany him to a car auction with a group that included his older sister, Jana, and younger brother, James. Kendra’s father and her younger sister also tagged along. After leaving the auction, Joseph would stop at a special spot and ask Kendra to make their relationship official.
Joseph Duggar works at his family’s used car lot, so he spends a lot of time looking for good deals at the car auction. He told Kendra that they were going there to look for two cars, and he hoped that the seemingly ordinary outing wouldn’t raise any suspicions about what he had planned.
On the way home, Joseph Duggar took Kendra Caldwell to the place he was born to pop the courtship question. Longtime Duggar fans might remember the property from the family’s early Discovery Channel specials when the Duggars’ old home was shown being torn down after they sold their land to the church next door. All that’s left of the house Joseph was born in is a slab of concrete, but this is where Joseph decided to officially begin his courtship with Kendra. His older brother, John David, wasn’t very impressed with his plan.
“I wouldn’t call it romantic,” John David told the Counting On cameras. “You go to a car auction and then go to a slab of concrete. That’s just kind of—that’s different.”
However, Kendra Caldwell was thrilled when Joseph Duggar asked her to enter into a courtship with him by presenting her with a promise ring and a bouquet of roses. They sealed the deal with a side hug, and they sat next to each other for the very first time on the trip back to the Duggar family compound. During the drive, the couple immediately got busy creating a list of courtship rules on Joseph’s phone.
“Side hugs only. Don’t put your arm around her whether sitting or standing,” Kendra read aloud.
The young lovebirds also decided to avoid holding hands and to make sure that they always had a chaperone with them whenever they spent time together. As reported by the Hollywood Gossip, the couple even put a time limit on how long they can side hug.
“We set a time limit,” Joseph revealed. “We just do three seconds. It’s a pretty good amount of time, we felt.”
Joseph and Kendra didn’t say whether they set a limit on how many of those three-second hugs they could give each other every day, but they didn’t have to wait too long to start enjoying a little more physical contact. As Entertainment Tonight reports, the rules changed after the couple got engaged at Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth’s May 26 wedding. They were allowed to start holding hands, and they also experienced another relationship first as they didn’t say “I love you” to each other until Joseph put a ring on it.
Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell tied the knot on September 8, so it will be a few weeks before their Counting On wedding episode airs. However, the Duggar Family Blog reports that fans can catch a sneak peek of their nuptials by heading over to the TLC GO website on Monday, September 18.
[Featured Image by Duggar Family/Facebook]