Jill DuggarAfter the ultimate bonding experience--traveling through a third world country together with an ultra-conservative dad in tow--Derick Dillard sealed the deal with Jill Duggar on tonight’s episode of 19 Kids & Counting.  I am not talking down on one knee here (the show lags behind real life)... but the courtship is on!

I have a warm, fuzzy feeling about Derick and Jill. Watching their innocent romance unfold is a treat. They go out of their way for each other. Jill flew halfway across the world to meet Derick and managed to maintain her beautiful, bouncy hair despite jet-lag, climate change, and riding unbuckled through the crazy-scary streets of Nepal. And Derick meticulously planned a memorable trip full of authentic adventures for her that delivered the true Nepali vibe.

While Derick isn’t as conscious about grooming as his lovely (holy facial hair), he never missed an opportunity to steal a moment with Jill, tell her she looks nice, or praise her intellectual curiosity. He admires her dedication to midwifery and spent some solo time with Jim Bob so Jill could volunteer at a birthing center. I’d accept a wayward beard for that level of adoration.

And I’ve got to give it to Jim Bob: For a buttoned-up kind of guy he showed a pretty adventurous side of himself in Nepal. He conquered his fear and got a traditional Nepali shave with a straight-razor. (Thankfully, Derick got rid of his scruff too). He rode in a “moving coffin” (three-wheeled taxi) to the Monkey temple while sitting across from his daughter semi-canoodling. He joked that Derick and Jill might "have a lot of monkeys" if their relationship progressed. Compared to Michelle Duggar he's not nearly as annoying as a courtship chaperone. He was pretty cool considering the circumstances.

Derick was not that cool asking Jill to court. He was clearly nervous, and waited for the last possible second to pop the question. But it was adorable. “If it’s alright with you I am interested in starting an official courtship,” said Derick, sitting beside Jill on a flight of stairs. Yup ... a flight of stairs and I am pretty sure the car was running. “Yeah, that would be awesome,” she replied. “Totally.” Derick marked the occasion by giving Jill a heart necklace with her birthstone. Awwwww...

Adding to the cute factor was Jill reaching out for Derick’s hand through the car window as she drove away to start her trip back to Arkansas. They touched briefly ...  and now have to wait for months to see each other again.

What did you think of Derick’s courtship proposal? Do you think he has good chemistry with Jill?

Image via Duggarsblog