Josiah Duggar and Lauren Swanson are clearly enamored with each other.
As they push the boundaries of what’s allowed for their courtship, Josiah can’t stop gushing about how much he adores Lauren.
Fans can’t get enough of these two.
For the longest time, fans worried that Josiah Duggar would never court the right girl.
He’s 21-years-old and while, in real life, that’s a normal age to focus on being a person, in the Duggar fertility cult, he’s practically an old maid — he’s expected to settle down and get married.
Now Josiah is in a courtship with Lauren Swanson, with whom he’s been friends for years. Their easy comfort with each other is winning over fans.
It’s also creating “problems,” only by Duggar standards, because Duggar courtship rules, but we’ll get into that in a moment.
Just look at Josiah’s latest post on Instagram. He really can’t stop gushing about Lauren.
Josiah Duggar captioned this photo, a still of his FaceTime with Lauren:
“Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve always been a talker. But now I love being a listener, too. [red heart emoji] #facetimewiththebest”
One has to imagine that courtship rules require a chaperone even for Facetime.
Those of us who live in the real world instead of in the Handmaid’s Tale LARP into which the Duggar children are born know that live video chats can be used for conversations of a very adult nature.
Still, they can have sweet conversations with each other and grow even closer. … With supervision.
We mentioned that there were “problems” with this relationship, from a certain point of view.
As much as fans and viewers enjoy seeing Josiah so happily besotted with Lauren Swanson, it appears that Josiah and Lauren may have broken some courtship rules.
The couple has been spotted appearing to push the limits of what the Duggars allow.
Brace yourselves for this rollercoaster of illicit carnal transgressions, folks:
-Faces close enough that they could almost be kissing but are not kissing (no!)
-Front-hugging, also known as the devil’s embrace
While it seems like none of these scandalous violations are enough to get Josiah sent to the same “counselors” that Josh Duggar has seen, it looks like the easy affection between these two is testing the limits.
Of course, there may be a reason that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar might be less horrified than usual by Josiah and Lauren’s closeness, and it’s not just because the two have been friends for ages.
See, news of this courtship caused old gay rumors about Josiah to resurface.
The rumors largely had to do with his courtship with Marjorie Jackson and the unexplained ending of the courtship, weeks later. Most Duggars marry the first person they court.
So, was Josiah’s issue that he doesn’t like women?
Truth be told, the Duggars have a lot of children. Statistics and common sense can tell anyone that not all of them are straight.
Growing up among the Duggars, they’d be forced to hide and suppress their identities, and countless LGBT folks have done in countless homophobic societies for millennia.
But none of that means that Josiah is gay, or even bisexual. And given the environment in which the Duggar children live, trying to “out” one of them would be especially dangerous — whether it’s true or not.
So some wonder if Jim Bob looks the other way when Josiah and Lauren swoon over each other because he hopes that it quashes any gay rumors.
That doesn’t mean that he’ll let them break all of the courtship rules.
They’ll have to save things like actually-having-private-conversations and other things that people use to get to know one another until they’re actually married.
Most couples find that not knowing each other before the wedding is disastrous and it leaves to marriages that end sooner rather than later.
But the Duggars have a little secret trick that keeps their marriages going:
They don’t believe in divorce.