In the years since 19 Kids and Counting first made the Duggars a household name, we’ve witnessed quite a few of the family’s courtships.
In fact, Justin Duggar and Claire Spivey’s is the tenth such relationship.
But while our years of Duggar-obsessing have left us very familiar with the rules and customs of the strange process known as courting, Claire and Justin’s romance is unlike any that we’ve seen before.
For starters, these two are young — even by Duggar standards.
They held off on announcing their engagement until after Justin turned 18 in November, but they’d already been essentially living together for several months at that point.
Yes, that’s another way that these two have broken with tradition:
Prior to the formal start of their relationship, Justin and Claire lived together.
The move was made out of necessity, as Claire lives in Texas with her family, and Justin made the trip so that he could get to know her better before they made it official.
He’s still a Duggar, of course, so the couple was closely chaperoned at all times, but still — premarital cohabitation is not something that Jim Bob would typically approve of.
Claire and Justin are forbidden to kiss or even hold hands prior to marriage, but they’re bonding in different ways these days.
For example, Justin recently had his wisdom teeth removed, and it seems that Claire has been serving as his personal nurse.
“How I enjoyed getting to take care of this guy,” she captioned a recent Instagram post on the subject.
“Thankful for every moment with him, even when it’s changing ice packs and giving meds,” Claire continued.
“Taking care of those you love is the best part of life.
“This must have been so special to do for him,” wrote one of the many commenters who sang Claire’s praises.
Okay, so let’s get this out of the way right off the bat:
Wisdom tooth removal is no walk in the park, but it’s not the kind of procedure that leaves the patient needing a full-time nurse in recovery.
It’s great that Claire decided to help out during Justin’s recovery, but she and whoever made that ridiculous banner are acting like he had his leg sawed off in a Civil War hospital.
On top of that, Claire seems to be under the impression that she deserves praise from fans just for fulfilling the most basic requirements of her relationship.
While some of her followers were quick to shower Spivey with the sort of adulation she was looking for, others pointed out that the whole situation is more than a little strange.
“This is bonkers,” one such critic wrote on Reddit. “It’s wisdom teeth surgery he’s not going off to war.”
“This is so messed up but now I understand why he’s rushing into marriage,” another added.
“After a whole life of being constantly overlooked or forgotten about someone is finally giving him attention. It’s just not a healthy amount/form of attention but for him it must be intoxicating.”
“At least he seems happy there,” a third chimed in. “He’s always just beaming. The fact that he moved there speaks volumes to me.”
Others were of the belief that the wisdom teeth drama was a sign that Justin and Claire would be tying the knot sooner rather than later.
“So, this whole wisdom teeth business and how she makes it seem like he’s already healed adds more fuel to the fire of our wedding date being this weekend!”
Obviously, there was no wedding this weekend (that we know of), but don’t lose heart, Duggar fans:
There’s always next weekend!