Last April, Josiah Duggar — of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting”—announced that he was entering into a “courtship” with Marjorie Jackson. People magazine described what they’re doing as “an older-fashioned way of dating that has couples getting to know each other as a preparation for marriage.”
Duggar was not the first of his siblings to do so, and they are not trendsetters.
That “older-fashioned” practice of Christian courtship became popular some time in the mid-1980s, particularly among very conservative communities, who often practiced homeschooling and met in home churches. The goal is to eschew modern dating practices. Couples gain parental blessing for their relationship, often mediated through the father; spend time together only in the presence of chaperones; and save physical contact (including kissing and hugging) for after the wedding.
The ability to choose your own spouse seems like an inalienable right to many Americans. Technology can help eliminate some of the variables — about 35 percent of spouses now meet online, and a Tinder revolution is in full swing — but at the end of the day, it’s up to grown adults to decide who they’ll marry.
But a close look at pop culture reveals a certain weariness with the self-screening process, an acute awareness that it’s still hard work to find love.
Read the rest of Alissa Wilkinson’s article in the Washington Post HERE.