Josiah Duggar recently began a courtship with Lauren Swanson, and cameras have already captured him breaking the strict Duggar family rules. Could the Counting On star already be hugging and kissing his new girlfriend?
Duggar family is currently in New Zealand for a series of speaking engagements, and they took some time out to visit the Army Museum in Waiouru.
In a series of shocking photos from their trip, Duggar is grabbing Swanson on the side of her chest as he helps her down from a tanker.
His hand placement is a huge no-no since Duggar family courting rules specifically state no chest-on-chest contact. Instead, courting couples must only express affection with a side hug.
Their public display of affection continued when Swanson leaned on Duggar’s shoulder while they while they sat next to each other on a bench.
The couple then took their young love to Lake Taupo while sitting close and enjoying the view, and in one photo it looks like the two are kissing. The Duggars do not allow their children to kiss until their wedding day.
Of course, they aren’t the first couple to break the rules. Joy-Anna Forsyth and her husband Austin admitted to touching hands while they renovated a home, and when she accepted his marriage proposal, she gave him a full hug instead of a side hug.
Duggar and Swanson announced their courtship earlier this month on the Duggar family website and revealed that they had been friends for a long time.
He said that the couple is now really getting to know each other, and they do have the goal of eventually getting married.
The 21-year-old said in a video that he officially asked Swanson to court by surprising her while she was hanging out with some of his siblings. He said he came up behind her and sat down next to her, then asked if she wanted to move to the next level – from friendship to courtship.
Swanson agreed, but a courtship means no hand-holding, kissing, or hugging. They must also have chaperones whenever they are together, and parents Jim Bob and Michelle monitor all texting.
All of Duggar’s married siblings tied the knot with the first person they courted. But, this is actually his second attempt at finding love.
Back in 2015, Duggar courted Marjorie Jackson, but they split after just four months.
The Counting On star says that he has found a great friend in Swanson and she is better than he could have ever imagined. He added that he has always admired her “Christlike character and tender heart towards others.”
Watch Josiah Duggar court Lauren Swanson when new episodes of Counting On premiere next month on TLC.