Romance was in the air on the season premiere of ’19 Kids & Counting!’
The season 8 premiere of 19 Kids & Counting on April 1 featured the Duggar clan dealing with the unfolding of a courtship between oldest daughter Jessa and her suitor, Ben. The dating scene was a new one for the Duggar clan, so let’s see how it all played out!
’19 Kids & Counting’ Recap: New Kid On The Block
The new season of 19 Kids & Counting found the Duggar family dealing with the blooming of a new relationship. Jessa was talking to her first potential courtship, Ben, and he asked to court her. For Jim Bob and Michelle, Jessa was their first baby girl, and it was difficult for them to realize she was growing up. Jessa sent Ben to build a relationship with her father because it was important to her. Both Jim Bob and Michelle had been supervising their relationship for support, including being involved in their group text messages.
Ben decided he officially wanted to court Jessa and asked for Jim Bob and Michelle’s approval. Jim Bob and Michelle said it was okay for him to ask Jessa. In a room with her parents, Ben nervously asked Jessa to court him. It was the cutest thing. Jessa said yes! Jim Bob filmed the precious moment and even allowed a side hug. Jim Bob and Michelle really like Ben and hope the best for him and Jessa.
Then, Jim Bob and Michelle broke the news of the new courtship to the family and everyone approved! Everyone knew Jessa and Ben were inevitable. They are just too cute! Jim Bob even said that Ben brought out the best in Jessa.
Jim Bob tested Ben to see how he interacted with the men of the family. They spent quality time picking up debris from a nearby tree. Things almost got awkward when Ben nearly dropped a tree limb on Jim Bob, but Jim Bob dodged just in time. The boys were in full protective mode over Jessa. Joseph grilled Ben about supporting Jessa and asked if he had courted anyone else. Much to Joseph’s delight, Jessa was Ben’s first courtship. At dinner, Ben got another chance to impress when he named the Duggar kids in birth order. (Now that is a tough challenge.)
SIDENOTE: The rules of Duggar courtships are as follows — no kissing or hand-holding; chaperoned dates only; and for the most part, hands off. The goal is focus on the spiritual and emotional aspects of the relationship.
’19 Kids & Counting’ Recap: Meet The Parents
Michelle and Jessa headed to Hot Springs to visit Ben and his family. Michelle got a little emotional when she began thinking about what it would be like when Jessa got married and left the house.
Jessa packed for the trip with the help of her sisters. She wanted to treasure these moments together. For Jinger, who is only 14 months younger than Jessa, the courtship hit her hard. Jessa’s new relationship was exciting for Jinger, but also sad because it meant that times were changing.
Ben was waiting at the airport for Jessa and Michelle’s arrival. He was excited to have Jessa visit his family. There was a hilarious awkward moment in Ben’s truck. Michelle had to scrunch in the middle between Jessa! Despite the cramped space, the conversation flowed naturally.
Ben’s parents, Michael and Gwinn Seewald, were delighted to see Jessa and Michelle. Like the Duggars, they have a big family of their own. Jessa was understandably a bit nervous about seeing Ben’s parents, especially since the courtship was official.
Michael and Gwinn wanted to get to know Jessa better and not just entirely from Ben’s point of view. Ben’s sisters said Jessa and Ben were the perfect couple and appreciated the differences in their personalities. (They say opposites do attract!)
A double date with Ben’s parents was the plan for Jessa and Ben, while Michelle watched the rest of the Seewald crew. At dinner, Michael had some questions for Jessa. He asked what Jessa felt when she first saw Ben. Jessa replied that he thought he looked like a nice guy, but didn’t consider anyone unless they had talked to her dad.
Ben was upfront about his intentions with Jessa from the beginning and was going to do the same in the future. When asked if they saw their relationship going forward, both Jessa and Ben had no doubt in their mind. Ben’s parents said they had found a treasure with Jessa, who also got to meet the extended Seewald family at a dinner the next day. Jessa molded very well into the clan.
’19 Kids & Counting’ Recap: He’s A Keeper
While Jessa and Michelle were off in Hot Springs, Jim Bob was at home taking care of the rest of the Duggar family. He was completely honest about how getting everyone ready was difficult without Michelle. Also, Jim Bob trying to style Josie’s hair was downright hilarious. Once everyone was prepped, they hit up a pizza parlor where Jim Bob asked what the kids all thought of Ben. It wasn’t a surprise that they all loved Ben.
Upon her return from Hot Springs, Jessa revealed that Ben was a keeper. Before anyone could catch a breath, Jim Bob asked where they would live if Jessa and Ben married. He preferred somewhere close to home, but he was in protective dad mode. Jim Bob also dropped hints that wedding bells could soon be in the air for Jessa and Ben!
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of the season premiere of 19 Kids & Counting? How adorable are Jessa and Ben? Do you see wedding bells in the future? Let us know!
— Avery Thompson