'19 Kids & Counting' Season 8 Premiere: Jessa Duggar & Ben Seewald Are Courting!

It’s courtin’ time! The first Duggar daughter, Jessa, is officially off the market, boys. On the season 8 premiere of 19 Kids &
, her suitor, Ben Seewald, sealed the deal ... first with her parents, and then with Jessa. That’s just how the Duggars roll.

I must confess I never dated (or married) any boy who would ever meet the Duggars’ expectations. OMG. No kissing. No hand-holding. Courtship is “dating with a purpose”; only spiritual and emotional exploration is allowed. After Jessa said “yes” to Ben’s courtship proposal, she hugged her mom. Only then did Jim Bob give Ben and Jessa permission to “side hug.” (No full-court boob press, Ben.) Then they all joined in prayer and the courtship was announced to the rest of family. Cue the applause.


Ben was grilled during the entire episode. Jim Bob asked him to help clean up a fallen tree in the backyard to “test his work ethic.” He also put Ben on the spot at a family dinner (lovingly prepared by Jessa who is learning to cook to impress her man) by asking him to name ALL of the Duggar kids in birth order. Even Jessa’s brothers got in on the interrogation, with Joseph questioning whether he would be able to support his sister just fixing windshields.

One of the best scenes was Jessa modeling outfits for her sisters in anticipation of seeing Ben. Although Jessa’s courtship is mortifying by most teenagers’ standards, her clothing anguish is so relatable. Jinger reflected on her close relationship with Jessa and how it will change. It’s unbelievable how the courtship has a ripple effect on the entire Duggar family.

Michelle escorted Jessa on a weekend getaway to Ben’s parents’ house. She took her role as a chaperone seriously, squeezing herself in the middle of the new couple in the front seat of Ben’s truck. Once they arrived, it was time for Michelle to watch Ben’s six siblings so he and Jessa could go out to dinner with his parents. It was Jessa’s turn to answer questions ... and there were lots of them.

“I wouldn't say I was, like, uncomfortable, but definitely it was just a little bit awkward," said Jessa.

Ya think? When I was a teenager, my boyfriend’s parents were strictly on a need-to-know basis, not sitting across from me on our first date. Anyway, Jessa won Ben’s parents over with her sweet smile. And Ben proved himself with the Duggars as well. Both families seem psyched about the courtship.

What do you think about Ben and Jessa’s courtship? Do you think they are good for each other?

Image via TLC

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