Counting On star John David Duggar has always done things a little differently than most of his siblings. Most notably, he waited until the age of 28 to start courting. Last month, fans were thrilled when Duggar announced that he had begun a relationship with 26-year-old Abbie Grace Burnett, and new photos suggest that the second-oldest Duggar brother is also doing things his own way when it comes to courting.
According to Romper, it looks like Duggar has different courting rules than his sisters. He and Burnett immediately started Instagram and Twitter accounts once they announced their courtship, they have been skipping church, Burnett is wearing jeans, and new photos of him and Burnett enjoying a ride in one of the Duggar planes seems to reveal some info about the physical contact rules.
As most Counting On fans know, Jim Bob and Michelle restrict their kids to side-hugs only when they are courting – that means no kissing, hand-holding, or front hugs. Basically, the Duggar kids must keep their hands to themselves at all times.
However, in one of the pics from their recent plane ride, Burnett has her hand on Duggar’s neck and her head on his shoulder. Fans immediately took notice and commented that it was nice to see them look like a normal couple. Some also noted that Duggar and Burnett seemed more comfortable together than other courting couples and things don’t feel forced.
It seems that the rules for Duggar and Burnett are a bit more relaxed and their boundaries a bit more generous since they are much older in comparison to other Duggar relationships. Also, John David is much more independent than his siblings – he is a pilot and works as a police officer – and Burnett is a nurse.
When 19-year-old Kendra Caldwell was courting 23-year-old Joseph Duggar, they limited their physical contact to two side hugs each day. And, Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard didn’t hold hands until they were engaged.
But John David and Abbie Grace appear to be redefining the rules to suit their own needs, and he admits that the two “fell in love very quickly.”
Fans will get the chance to see more of John David Duggar and Abbie Grace Burnett’s courtship when new episodes of Counting On premiere on TLC on Monday, July 30th.