Jessa Duggar Sorta Has A Boyfriend, She's Allowed To 'Side Hug' Him Too!

James Johnson

Jessa Duggar is 20-years-old and she has a "sorta" boyfriend and her parents let him "side-hug" her.

Ben Seewald, 18, is a church pal to Jessa and he hails from Hot Springs, Arkansas. He is the closest thing that Jessa, daughter of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, has ever had to a boyfriend.

According to PEOPLE Jessa and Ben met at church. In an interview ahead of the season premiere of 19 Kids and Counting the Duggar say the young pair asked their parents for permission to communicate via text. Jim Bob and Michelle were "kept int he conversation as the couple texted each other."

So what do two kids in love talk about? God and that's pretty much it.

Michelle Duggar tells PEOPLE:

"It has been fun to watch them and both of our phones are going off, back and forth, ping, ping, ping. Courtship is not just about having fun. You are really considering if this person could be your life partner – you pray about it and see what happens."

"It has been fun to watch them and both of our phones are going off, back and forth, ping, ping, ping. Courtship is not just about having fun. You are really considering if this person could be your life partner – you pray about it and see what happens."

Jim Bob says his 20-year-old daughter has talked to guys in the past but this is the first person he has approved of.

Michelle says of the couples physical relationship:

"Dad allowed them to do a side hug when they were officially courting. Jessa and Ben have said that was the only contact they would have: When they initially greet each other... they have a quick 30 second or less side hug and a goodbye side hug and they agreed that would be the only contact they should have. … They want to wait on the physical relationship until later. If there is an engagement that comes about, they will work together on their goals and standards for that."

"Dad allowed them to do a side hug when they were officially courting. Jessa and Ben have said that was the only contact they would have: When they initially greet each other... they have a quick 30 second or less side hug and a goodbye side hug and they agreed that would be the only contact they should have. … They want to wait on the physical relationship until later. If there is an engagement that comes about, they will work together on their goals and standards for that."

Did we mention that Jenna Duggar is 20-years-old? I'm all for old-fashioned family values but at some point an adult needs to grow up and make their own choices independently of their parents.

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