Keeping in mind that "extreme" in the Duggar universe means something very different than in the rest of the world, Jinger Duggar revealed on Tuesday's new episode of Counting On that her plans regarding courtship rules in her relationship with now-fiancé Jeremy Vuolo aren't exactly traditional.
Jinger, who is super-duper in love, so much so, in fact, that she's lost her appetite for ice cream (that's how you know it's serious), went to visit Jessa and Ben, along with Jeremy and, not surprisingly, Jim Bob. After the two announced that they were courting, Ben asked them if they had thought about the restrictions they'd be putting on their relationship during this time. Jeremy told the room that he'd like to save the physical part of things for marriage (Ben: "Good answer."). In an interview, though, Jinger explained that people aren't all the same, and so she and Jeremy aren't going to have a list written up of things they can and can't do. Instead, they'll have a general idea of how they want to conduct themselves and let the people around them know. And pray about it, obviously.
We've already seen Jinger and Jeremy fly in the face of Duggar propriety with their rampant frontal hugging, but this business of recognizing individuality is basically the equivalent of cutting your hair and going to secular college. (Kind of.) Of course, Duggar history is littered with evidence that although one might claim anything is possible for these girls, we actually know it isn't. Still, Jinger's declaration that she and Jeremy won't be adhering to the long list of Duggar courtship rules is a pretty big deal, although, theoretically, courting couples seem to be allowed to develop their own relationship guidelines. You have to wonder if the engaged Duggar couples actually do follow the rules they make up when the cameras aren't around (although the presence of the cameras didn't stop Jinger and Jeremy, or Jill and Derick, who also totally frontal hugged before they got married), or if it's all a lot of talk for the cameras. I'm inclined to think that they do follow their own rules, but it does make you question what really goes on when there's so much emphasis on not doing things and avoiding temptation.
There are those of us still holding out hope that Jinger will be the Duggar who will throw off the mantle of expectation and run far, far away, but the likelihood that that's actually going to happen is becoming less and less likely. Toeing the line in regard to courtship rules might be as good as it gets. (Still, though, #FreeJinger.)
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