One of the most heavily-scrutinized aspects of life in the Duggar clan is the courtship process by which young people find suitable spouses.
Casual dating, premarital sex, and divorce are all forbidden in the Duggars’ world, so there’s a lot riding on every courtship.
Despite all that, the process moves fast — very fast.
Often, Duggars get engaged just a few weeks after they begin courting, and they’re married a few weeks after that.
So perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the family has its mate selection protocol down to a science.
Believe it or not, the process involves a written application that’s designed by Jim Bob to help weed out the losers and ensure that his grandkids are bred from only the best stock.
We sincerely wish we were joking/
As you might expect, the whole thing is intensely creepy.
Check out some of the more bizarre highlights from the list of 423 questions (!!!) that are presented to potential Duggar suitors.
It’s believed that both male and female courtship partners are forced to fill out the questionnaire, and of course, the responses are reviewed by the all-powerful shot-caller himself, James Robert Duggar.
Somehow, this family keeps getting weirder by the day.
Derick Spills the Tea
As you’re probably aware, Derick Dillard has been feuding with Jim Bob Duggar for quite some time now. It’s a messy situation, but on the bright side, it’s yielded some interesting revelations about life in the Duggar clan.
Going Back to the Archives
Of course, as some fans recently realized, Derick has been taking shots at Jim Bob for quite some time now. Take, for example, the Counting On episode in which Dillard spoke out about the infamous Courtship Questionnaire.
At the time that the episode was filmed, Jeremy Vuolo was still courting Jinger Duggar, and Derick shocked him with an unexpected question.
Truth or Der
Derick asked Jeremy if he had been “drill[ed]” on his “financial situation” by Jim Bob, adding that such questions can be found “on the 45-page application,” he said. “Page 27, section B, line four.”
Jim Bob In the Middle
It might sound like Der and Jer were just having a laugh at Jim Bob’s expense, but it turns out the application is not only real — it’s also much longer than they described.
Does the Fun Ever Start!
Around that time, there was a disagreement about the length of the application. Jessa Duggar claimed it’s only 30 pages, while Jeremy said that he “got sent a 50-page questionnaire.” It turns out, the current model clocks in at 423 questions — and we have all the highlights below!
Do you ever seek advice from others?
This is the very first question in the very first section, entitled “Life Influences”. If your answer is anything other than “the lord and savior JC,” ya best just keep it moving.
Who were your role models and heroes? For what reasons?
We’re still under the “Life Influences” heading here. Again, if you’re answer doesn’t start wth “J” and end wth “-esus of Nazareth,” then don’t let the door hit you.
You are the result of the influence of which people?
Is it us, or is this just a weird way of repeating the previous question? The list is 423 questions long, JB, maybe you could trim the fat a little.
What personality traits and/or strengths do you see in women/men you know that you would desire for your wife/husband to possess?
This one provides a great opportunity to troll Jim Bob with an answer like “the ability to shotgun a 12-pack of Bud Light Limes on a nude beach in San Tropez.” But we’re guessing he’s looking to take it back to the Dark Ages with responses that confirm to his patriarchal world view.
What do you read?
Obviously, this is 100 percent a trap question. The Bible is the only answer that won’t have you cast out like Satan himself. Feel free to answer “the Harry Potter series” if you want to see steam shoot from a grown man’s ears.
Would you be willing to die for Christ? If you’re not dying daily, how can you be so sure you would then?
Now we’re in the “Spiritual Life” section, and we think it’s safe to say things will be getting a lot more abstract from here on out. It’s okay to encourage your spouse to engage in a certain activity every day, but it should be something like making homemade mac and cheese … not, ya know, dying.
What is a besetting sin? What are yours?
To be clear, we have no idea what a besetting sin is, but it can’t be good, and regardless, any time your would-be father-in-law asks what your sins are, just skip right to the next question.
What is the role of music in worship and the Church?
This is an easy one that can be answered with two words: “Slayer rocks!”
Does your father have any medical or mental problems that could affect you or your children?
When answering this question, it’s important to take a long drag off a cigarette and gaze into the distance, a la Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now.
Are you ever manipulative of others?
The irony of answering this question as part of the absurdly lengthy process to determine if you’ll be allowed to go on a first date with someone is simply too much to bear.
Who are your friends? (Identify at least three.)
You better be working with at least three friends, nerd! And don’t try any of that “I’m my own best friend” BS!
Do you have friends of the opposite sex?
Tricky! In most relationships, friends of the opposite sex would be considered a good sign, but these are the Duggars we’re talking about. The follow-up here is “What will be the level of your relationship with them after marriage?” which should tell you all you need yo know.
Why have you chosen me/other person as a potential spouse?
Answers will be accepted in sonnet form only.
Can you tell me your thoughts on how a man should protect a wife and children? How do you feel about guns?
Talk about a loaded question! It’s important to provide a nuanced response here … just kidding, the only correct answer is “Jesus invented the AR-15.”
What has been your prior experience with dating and romance? Have you ever kissed or been physically intimate in any way with a girl/woman? If so, explain the circumstances.
So, you’re in your mid-twenties and soon to begin a courtship with a member of the Duggar family? You might think they would expect that you’ve been on a date or two in your life. You would be wrong.
Have you ever been exposed to homosexuality? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.
This is probably NOT the time for creative non-fiction about that time you loaded up on MDMA and got handsy with your college roommate in your tent at Burning Man. Probably not the time.
What are your views on public swimming?
Yes, believe it or not, swimwear (at least in the sense that you think of it, not Jessa and Ben’s body-suits) is on the long, long, long list of the things the Duggars don’t approve of. Answer accordingly.
Do you watch television, R-rated movies? PG-rated movies? What were the last five movies you watched?
Answers that in no way feature the work of David, Goliath, or Mel Gibson will not be tolerated.
On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate the worth of a woman?
Power move: Give a random answer like 6 – not too high, not too low – and provide zero explanation.
When does corporal discipline begin?
From the all-important “Parenting” section. Notice that the question is not if you’ll start slappin’ your kids around, but when. You’re one of a kind, Duggars. One of a kind.