Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are set to talk about the Duggar ways of dating, which, according to the reality stars, are rare moments of respite for a married couple raising a large family.
Parents to 20 children, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar said one of the “secrets” to their 30-plus years of marriage is going on dates as often as they can. Their date nights have sometimes also included their married or courting children that are not allowed on unsupervised outings. Duggar date nights have also been part of Counting On episodes, and in some cases, have been occasions for major reveals in the series’ plotline.
During their Valentine’s Day talk titled “Date Night with the Duggars,” Jim Bob and Michelle are likely to expound about their relationship, which has been widely reported. The Duggar matriarch said, according to US Magazine, that Jim Bob loves to surprise her by being spontaneous.
“I realized that [my need to prepare] was squelching Jim Bob’s creativity and fun spirit — both things that I really love about him,” she wrote. “I had to let go of that urge to plan everything. And when I did, it brought such a wonderful new dimension to our marriage.”
The Duggars’ idea of date nights are not to be confused with conventional dating where an unmarried couple sees each other. The Duggars believe in courtship, with strings of marriage attached. Before the scandals made headlines, Josh Duggar reportedly told People in 2014 that courtship is a path towards marriage.
Entry for Jim Bob and Michelle’s talk has been priced at $15. A Q&A session with Michelle Duggar, restricted to women, is scheduled to follow. While most Duggar fans are thrilled about the talk, critics spoke out against the family’s beliefs.
Incidentally, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, recollections of Jim Bob and Michelle’s first date night are worth sharing. Unlike what they have come to espouse later for their children, back in the 80s, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar dated before getting married. Michelle has also said they ended up in her parents’ house on their first date night.
“After he left, I stood in the doorway,” Michelle said, according to Daily Mail, “and I just prayed, Father, I have never met a man like this before. If this isn’t the one you have for me, I can’t imagine anything better.”
She has maintained the couple indulged in a four-hour Bible session and there was no physical intimacy that night. The Duggars now espouse sexual abstinence until marriage.
Besides their unconventional ideas about dating, the Duggars’ ideas about Valentine’s Day may also seem unusual. Michelle Duggar said she goes on dates with her husband but also said the family organizes banquets in their home.