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’19 Kids & Counting’: Jessa & Ben Struggle With Courtship Boundaries

Tue, October 7, 2014 10:00pm EDT by Lauren Cox 11 Comments

We saw this coming! Since Jessa’s boyfriend, Ben, moved in with the Duggars on ’19 Kids & Counting,’ the two have admitted that it’s difficult following their courtship rules when they see each other all the time.

On the Oct. 7 episode of 19 Kids & Counting, Jessa Duggar, 21, is having some trouble following the strict family courtship rules now that her boyfriend, Ben Seewald, 19, is living with her. However, the young couples struggle is just pushing them to get married sooner rather than later to avoid breaking the rules. In an effort to help out, and distract themselves from physical attraction, Jessa and Ben take the “little” Duggars to the arcade for a fun outing.

’19 Kids & Counting’: Jessa & Ben Struggle With Courtship, Want To Marry ASAP

Stay strong, Jessa and Ben!

While the entire Duggar family, and Ben, meet in the boys bedroom for a Bible reading, we quickly find out that Jessa is having some trouble dealing with her courtship rules.

If you’re an avid fan of the show, you know that the Duggars have strict courtship rules. Most importantly? Very limited touching between young couples. In fact, Jessa and Ben can only “side hug” each other while they are just dating.

If and when they become engaged, they can upgrade to holding hands. But until they are married, they can not hug while facing each other, kiss, or (obviously) have sex.

However, Jessa knows that the temptation she feels to get closer to Ben only means one thing — it’s time to get married! Ben seems to agree, although he has yet to reveal his plans to propose to his girlfriend.


Thankfully, both Jessa and Ben are very respectful of her parents and their religious beliefs. These two things are definitely keeping them from breaking any rules, despite how difficult it may be now that they see each other all day, every day.

Jessa & Ben Practice Parenting With An Arcade Trip

Another way to deflect sexual tension between two young people in love? Put them into a room with lots and lots of kids!

While Jim Bob Duggar and the older boys are building launch ramps for the derby box cars they bought, Jessa and Ben take the “littles” to a local arcade for a day of pizza and video games.

Oh, and just in case they are left alone at any point, Jessa’s older sister, Jana Duggar, is on-hand to act as a chaperone for the couple. Better safe than sorry!

During the family trip to the arcade, Ben shares that being with all of those little kids really made him think that “this could be us” one day. How sweet is that? Jessa also agrees, and shares that they plan on having a big family, too.

All of the “littles” are well-behaved during the outing, and the entire family has fun playing tons of different video games and eating gigantic (seriously, they were huge) pizza pies. Yum!

Duggar Family Derby Gets Them Together Before Jill’s Wedding

What better way to get the entire family together for one big outing than to have a derby race? With the handmade launch ramps, the kids are ready to get their derby on!

The Duggar matriarch, Michelle, explains that with everything going on with the older Duggar kids and their relationships, it’s important to remember the “littles” and get everyone together so no one is forgotten.

The entire family got to participate in the derby race, and Ben helped with the cookout that was planned by manning the BBQ. He’s a keeper, Jessa!

Jim Bob & Michelle Surprise Jill, Derick, Jessa, & Ben On A Triple Date

In honor of Jim Bob and Michelle’s 30th wedding anniversary, they set up a date with the two young couples: Jill and Derick and Jessa and Ben.

The family is just days away from celebrating Jill and Derick’s wedding, so everyone is buzzing with excitement! However, when Jim Bob and Michelle reveal that they have surprises for the two couples, the anticipating eats away at them.

When Jim Bob starts off the triple date, he scares the entire family by “driving recklessly” as he speeds past a police officer on a quiet road. And yes, he did it intentionally. The kids are all aware that whatever Jim Bob is up to, the cops are probably in on it — and they are!

Jim Bob pulls over for the police officer, and he asks everyone in the vehicle to get out of the car. Out of nowhere, the police officer handcuffs the couples together so that they have to learn how to work together. How did Jim Bob set that up?!

Next up, Jim Bob and Michelle treat the couples to a picnic while they are handcuffed together. Because they have limited use of their hands now, the couples have to learn how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while being tied to one another. Jessa jokes that Jill and Derick had more trouble with the cuffs than they did, and they are the ones about to get married. Ha!

After that, Jim Bob and Michelle brought the young couples to an obstacle course that they had to go through while still being handcuffed to each other. Yikes!

The parents share that this one particular challenge is all about working together and communicating so that each partner ensures the other does not get hurt. Well played, Duggar parents! And this time around? Jill and Derick, future newlyweds, “won” the obstacle course.

Last but not least, I hope, the couples have to take archery lessons together. Yes, that means they have to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow while handcuffed together.

At the end of the final challenge, Michelle tells the couples that they both make incredible teams, and it’s sweet to see that she truly is proud of her daughters for making wonderful choices for future husbands.

Tell us, HollywoodLifers — What do YOU think about Jessa and Ben struggling with courtship rules? Do you think they make a good couple? Let us know your thoughts about the episode in the comments below!

— Lauren Cox

More ’19 Kids & Counting’ News:

  1. ’19 Kids & Counting’ Recap: Jill Picks 6 Duggar Sisters As Bridesmaids
  2. ‘19 Kids & Counting’: Jill Reveals Why She Went Barefoot At Her Wedding
  3. Duggar Courtship Rules: Monitored Texts, Modest Clothes, & Chaperones