Viewers of TLC's reality hit 19 Kids & Counting already know that once a family member enters the "courtship" stage, it represents a serious relationship that could lead to marriage. The latest member of the Duggar family to enter a courtship is 22-year-old Jill, who was introduced to 25-year-old Derick Dillard by her father, Jim Bob.
"I was really impressed with his character and I was surprised how much we have the same vision and life goals," Jill tells People magazine about Derick. "He's a great guy."
Duggar patriarch Jim Bob -- whose family is based in northwest Arkansas -- explained how he became impressed with Derick after becoming aware of some missionary work he was doing in Nepal.
"I had gotten an email from Derick a few years ago and gave him my phone
number so he could share the work he was doing in Nepal," Jim Bob tells the magazine. "I was impressed
with him as I got to know him over the years. He sounded like an
amazing young man. I felt like from the beginning, they had similar
personalities and goals. I thought they would hit it off."
Jill officially began courting Derick in November and her family sees the process as focusing on getting to know someone as a potential spouse, rather than just traditional dating. "We got to know each other in the first few months pretty quickly," Jill said. "I was in love with someone I had never met in person, but we really knew each other well.
Jill's 20-year-old sister Jessa is also currently in a courtship with Ben Seewald, 18.