Those who have been following Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar since the beginning of their reality TV stardom know that courtships are a pretty big deal. For the Counting On family, courting is "dating with a purpose" — meaning there's always the goal of marriage in mind. And although there are a few exceptions, the majority of Duggar courtship timelines seem to progress at lightning speed.
What does a Duggar courtship timeline look like?
Courtships were first featured on 19 Kids & Counting and now on Counting On. As more and more of the Duggar siblings have approached adulthood, it's become clear that no two courtships are identical. However, fans have noticed there definitely seems to be a pattern.
Let's take a deep dive into each courtship that's been featured on TLC so far and see if we can determine what a "typical" courtship length is for this highly conservative, fundamental Christian family.
Josh and Anna Duggar's courtship length: two years.
Josh and Anna met at a homeschooling conference in 2006 and reportedly, they started their courtship shortly afterward. Except, Anna has said she was totally surprised by Josh's proposal — and that she didn't even know whether Josh was interested in her in that way. Plus, she had made a promise not to court before turning 20. So the timeline is a bit fuzzy.
As shown in 19 Kids & Counting, Josh proposed to Anna in June 2008 — on her 20th birthday — and they officially tied the knot in September of that same year.
Jill and Derick Dillard's courtship length: four months.
Jill and Derick "met" over the phone through Jim Bob in March 2013 and started talking more regularly/seriously by August. In November 2013, Jill and Jim Bob traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal (where Derick was doing mission work), where Derick officially asked Jill to enter into a courtship. In late March 2014, Derick proposed, and they were married on June 21, 2014.
Jessa and Ben Seewald courtship length: 11 months.
Jessa and Ben started courting in September 2013 before her sister, Jill, started courting Derick. However, the couple actually became engaged after Jill and Derick in August 2014. Ben and Jessa were married in November 2014.
Jinger and Jeremy Vuolo's courtship length: one month.
Jinger started courting Jeremy on June 21, 2016 — and their relationship progressed extremely quickly from there. Barely a month later — on July 26 — Jeremy popped the question. They tied the knot in November 2016.
Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth's courtship length: four months.
Joy-Anna and Austin started their courtship in November 2016, and then Austin ended up proposing in March 2017. Although their wedding was originally set for October 2017, they walked down the aisle on May 26, 2017.
Joseph and Kendra Duggar's courtship length: two months.
March 2017 is when TLC announced that Joseph and Kendra had entered into a courtship. On May 26 — at his sister Joy-Anna's wedding — Joe got down on one knee and proposed to Kendra. They tied the knot on Sept. 8, 2017.
Josiah and Lauren Duggar's courtship length: six weeks.
Before Josiah and Lauren started courting, Josiah had a four-month courtship with Marjorie Jackson from April to August 2015. Their relationship ended quietly but amicably.
Josiah and Lauren announced their courtship on Jan. 23, 2018 — and then turned around and announced they were engaged on March 5. They married on June 20, 2018.
John David and Abbie Duggar's courtship length: one month.
John David and Abbie announced their courtship in June 2018 — and by July 25, they revealed their engagement. On Nov. 3, 2018, they tied the knot.
Justin Duggar and Claire Spivey's courtship length: possibly a year.
On Sept. 21, 2020, it was revealed that 17-year-old Justin had entered into a courtship with Claire Spivey, 19. However, they had evidently been courting for quite a while (possibly a year) before the announcement. (Their longer engagement makes sense, considering their age.)
"When Justin couldn’t stop talking about what a great girl Claire was, we knew it was only a matter of time before he would make it official!," Michelle wrote on the family's Instagram account. "We are excited for them as they follow the Lord and find out what He has in store for their lives during this courtship! We have loved getting to know Claire and her family better over the last year, and we think the world of them!"
The couple went on to announce their engagement in November 2020 and tied the knot in February 2021.
Jed Duggar and Katey Nakatsu: also maybe a year.
Unlike his siblings, Jed kept his courtship and engagement tightly under wraps until after he already said, "I do."
"We have enjoyed quietly developing our relationship over the past year and every moment together has been amazing!" Jed captioned an Instagram post featuring the newlyweds on April 3, 2021. "I’m so grateful God brought Katey into my life and excited to share with you all that today she became my wife!"