“[Eight] years ago I started dating my best friend,” Derick, 32, shared via Instagram on Monday, November 22, in honor of their 8-year dating anniversary. “I definitely enjoyed our unchaperoned motorcycle ride around the area [winking emoticon]. And I have fond memories of the extra week we had over Thanksgiving to enjoy more intimate time together and get to know each other even better.”
The post stood out to 19 Kids and Counting fans for two rebellious reasons. One, Derick used the term “dating” instead of “courting.”
“Courtship is really waiting for the one God has for you and praying through the whole process,” Jim Bob, 56, told People in April 2014.
The second reason Derick’s post was taken as a slight at his in-laws’ rules is he seemingly made it a point to admit he took Jill, 30, on an “unchaperoned” motorcycle ride. The Duggar children were not allowed to go on unchaperoned dates and had to be accompanied by a parent, a sibling, or multiple siblings.
According to the Duggar family blog, Michelle, 55, stated any family member over the age of 10 can be a chaperone.
“With Derick and Jill, they wrote out their courting rules at the beginning of their official courtship. These were their commitments to each other. After they agreed on them, they shared with their chaperones and family members so that they would know what they want to be held accountable for,” Michelle wrote in 2015.
“The chaperones then have clear guidelines for what is acceptable and what’s not,” she continued. “They’re the accountability.”
Derick also mentioned an “intimate” week spent together after their first Thanksgiving together.
“Thanksgiving is very special to us,” Derick explained during a November 2020 Q&A with Jill. “That was the first holiday we celebrated as a couple. Jill came to Nepal eight years ago, seven years ago, 2013. Once all the filming and everything was done, we were recorded our ‘goodbye.’ She stayed another week and we had Thanksgiving together.”
Jill confirmed the week “wasn’t in the show.”
“Once we said ‘goodbye’ for the cameras and Jill went away in the taxi, she came back, we spent another week together without cameras and had Thanksgiving dinner together,” Derick said. “We made Thanksgiving together. Very special time.”
Fans were quick to pick up on the “unchaperoned” note.
“Unchaperoned motorcycle ride made my day! Enjoy your future unchaperoned adventures,” one follower wrote, while another replied, “Me too. Derick what are you hinting at?”
“The tea is pipping hot with that whole caption. Wow,” a third added.
Jill and Derick wed in 2014 and have gone on to welcome two children, sons Israel, 6, and Samuel, 4.