Jill Duggar, 22, and Derick Dillard, 25, have announced their engagement, after only five months of courting.
The couple, who star in TLC’s “19 Kids & Counting”, are now able to hold hands.
Jill, who is training to be a midwife, stated, “I am so happy”. Derick adds, “It was great to hold her hand for the first time”.
The Duggar family defines courting as a couple deciding whether marriage is appropriate while in a group setting with both of their families.
They are only allowed to hold hands for the first time after their engagement. Their first kiss will have to wait until their wedding day.
It may seem a bit strict and old-fashioned, but it’s also rather sweet.
Jill Duggar said today, “I’m the first daughter… so he’ll always be like the first wedding”, adding that her fiance Derick will be the first of his siblings to get married.
Duggar said, “It’ll be exciting and I’m sure it will be big. I’m sure we’re going to have lots of help, lots of siblings wanting to jump in.”
Jill and Derick were actually introduced by her father Jim Bob, who struck up a friendship with Derick years ago.
Jim Bob said, “I was impressed with him as I got to know him over the years. He sounded like an amazing young man. I felt like from the beginning, [he and Jill] had similar personalities and goals. I thought they would hit it off.”
Derick was in Nepal doing missionary work and is where he first met Jill in person, although they live only thirty minutes away from one another.
Jill explained, “The first time we talked, he was in Japan, we met in Nepal, he spent time in India and Israel and then came back to Arkansas where he met my family.”
Jill adds, “I was in love with someone I had never met in person, but we really knew each other well. I was really impressed with his character, and I was surprised how much we have the same vision and life goals. He’s a great guy.”
Derick, who has a degree in accounting, was a little overwhelmed by Jill’s huge family. He joked, “You have to come in armed with good jokes and I usually have Skittles as well”.
Jill’s younger sister Jessa, 21, found love in September with 18-year-old Ben Seewald, a country club employee she met at church.
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