According to Josiah Duggar, being in a relationship with Lauren Swanson has changed him in a profound way. Some fans think that this is a positive thing, but others are suggesting that his strong feelings for Lauren may have led him to break a courtship rule.
On Tuesday, 21-year-old Counting On star Josiah Duggar took to Instagram to let fans know how things are going with the new woman in his life, 18-year-old Lauren Swanson. He shared a screenshot of a recent video chatting session with his smiling girlfriend, and he gushed about one of the major ways she has impacted his life. Josiah is one of the more outgoing and talkative Duggar boys, traits that have led some fans to compare him to his disgraced oldest brother, Josh. However, Josiah revealed that Lauren is teaching him to value the sound of a voice that isn’t his own.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve always been a talker,” Josiah wrote. “But now I love being a listener, too. #facetimewiththebest.”
Many of Josiah’s Instagram followers praised his words, deeming his post “cute” and “sweet.” Others let him know that they think Lauren is a lucky girl to have him in her life.
“Being an attentive listener is an amazing and awesome quality in a man,” remarked one fan.
While most responses to Josiah Duggar’s post were supportive comments from fans, it also raised questions about whether Duggar boys are given more leniency than Duggar girls when it comes to the courtship rules that they’re expected to follow. A few of Josiah’s Instagram followers noted the absence of any evidence that his video chatting session with Lauren Swanson was being chaperoned.
“No chaperone?” remarked one fan.
“Do your parents have to listen in to your conversations, or do they only do that to the girls?” another asked.
CafeMom also questioned whether the Duggars have “relaxed their strict standards now that they’ve gotten several of their older kids married.”
The Duggars have repeated their family’s strict courtship rules many times on their TLC series. Fans first heard the former 19 Kids and Counting stars explain why Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar expect their kids to save their first kisses for marriage back when Josh began courting his future wife Anna. The Duggars have also spent a lot of time talking about their chaperone requirements and rules limiting physical contact.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are so concerned about the possibility of their courting kids engaging in sinful premarital behavior that they even monitor their text messages with their boyfriends and girlfriends. It’s this obsession with supervision that has many fans questioning whether the parents were watching Josiah Duggar’s video chat with Lauren Swanson.
However, it’s possible that the young couple was granted some privacy. According to TODAY, Jim Bob and Michelle did allow Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald one hour-long unsupervised phone call every night during their courtship. Perhaps the same rule applies to video chat.
Fans will likely learn more details about Josiah Duggar and Lauren Swanson’s courtship rules in the coming weeks. Counting On returns to TLC on February 26, and the Duggars never miss an opportunity to talk about their unusual relationship guidelines.