Jill Duggar, 22, has been in a relationship with Derick Dillard, 25-year-old Arkansas native, since last November, the Duggar family announced Monday.
"I was really impressed with his character and I was surprised how much we have the same vision and life goals," Jill told People of her new beau, who first emailed her father, Jim Bob, about his missionary work in Nepal.
"I was impressed with him as I got to know him over the years. He sounded like an amazing young man," Jim Bob said. "I felt like from the beginning, they had similar personalities and goals. I thought they would hit it off."
"We got to know each other in the first few months pretty quickly," Jill said of their initial email relationship. "I was in love with someone I had never met in person, but we really knew each other well."
Jill and her sisters wrote a book about the family's Christian values and courting practices, Growing Up Duggar, which hit shelves earlier this month. In the book, they encourage girls to avoid physical relationships with boys before marriage.
Jill's sister, Jessa, started dating 18-year-old Ben Seewald last year.
"Dad allowed them to do a side hug when they were officially courting," Duggar matriarch Michelle explained at the time. "Jessa and Ben have said that was the only contact they would have, when they initially greet each other, when he comes to visit for their first hello, they have a quick 30 second or less side hug and a goodbye side hug and they agreed that would be the only contact they should have."
Jill's brother, Josh, the first and only Duggar sibling to get married, congratulated the happy couple on Instagram.
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