Jessa Duggar Shares What It's Like to Date as One of '19 Kids & Counting'

Jessa Duggar Ben SeewaldBig changes are on the horizon for Jessa Duggar. The third eldest daughter of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar is about to have her courtship with Ben Seewald opened up to the masses with tonight's premiere of the eighth season of 19 Kids & Counting on TLC. So what does Jessa think of all of this? Is the reality star really on board with sharing her private life with the masses ... or is that her parents' doing?

The Stir asked Jessa how she feels about courting with an audience, and whether her parents pressure her to put up a front. Is she really on board with being a reality star?


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On what say her parents had on her courtship:

Definitely my parents wanted to check him out, make sure he's a good guy, but when it came down it, it was like, Do you want to court this guy? And I was like, Well yeah.

I'd already known him for a time before that and seen a lot of good character. Just his goals and dreams in life; we had a lot of similar passions in that way ... we are just very compatible.

Our parents' advice is very well-received on our part. We want their input, and we know that they only desire the best for our lives. It's not like they're trying to take away the fun or make our lives miserable. They really do desire the best for us, so we want their counsel and their advice.

On what would have happened if her parents didn't like Ben:

Well, I would think that they probably have a good reason for that. We probably would have discussed it and I would have come to an understanding of why.

Sometimes I think if a girl is really romantically attached to a guy or if she's thinking he's cute, just really looking outward, he's fun to be around or whatever, she might pass over something that her parents might be able to see and say, Look at this character deficiency here. It might not be a no, never, but it might be he really needs to work on some areas in his life.

On what she really thinks of being on 19 Kids & Counting

Most of our lives have been recorded and kind of put out there for everyone to see. People are curious. I think if it were just me, I might kind of think, This is a personal thing, let's just keep this for myself, but I realize there are a lot of people who are curious about how we do courtship and how all that works.

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For that reason, I hope it can be an encouragement for a lot of young girls and give them a perspective and inside look at how this all works for us and how to carry out a relationship in a wholesome and a pure way. A lot of people think it's a bit old-fashioned the way we do things ... but really it's the way our parents, our grandparents would have done things -- just going about a relationship with purity and saving yourself for the wedding day, not getting yourself physically involved but really focusing on strong communication in the early stages of your relationship.

Knowing that there are a lot of young girls, girls 12, 13, 14, who are curious about this, that would be the reason why we'd choose to have this televised.

On being a role model to young girls:

It's a great honor but also a great responsibility. You don't want to lead anybody astray. You don't want to stand up and tell young girls that something is acceptable when it probably isn't. 

It's not just living for yourself and the pleasure of the moment -- thinking selfishly -- but really realizing there are a lot of little eyes looking up to you and wanting to set your standards high and be a good example and somebody that parents will say, I want you feeding into the lives of my kids.

Kids want somebody they can look up to and say I want to be just like them. There are a lot of other influences out there in the world that when kids follow them, they have consequences that last for a lifetime ... heartache and grief and sorrow. Just wanting to be a positive role model, that's really in my heart.

On whether she feels stressed to stay on TV & co-opt her parents' lifestyle:

It's just really my personal relationship with God, that's first in my life. It's not about making my parents look good or my family look good or anything like that. It's really just about holding to the standards that I have found, myself, in the Bible, and wanting to live as I think God would want me to live.

Are you surprised by Jessa's attitude about filming? Do you think she's a good role model for your kids?



Image via TLC

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