'Counting On': Justin Duggar's Fiancée Claire Spivey Confirms That They Dated in Secret for Months

Last month, Counting On star Justin Duggar announced one day after his 18th birthday that he was engaged to Claire Spivey. The news came just two months after the couple announced that they were courting.

While it seems like the young couple’s relationship is moving at lightning speed, Claire says that they got together way before September. According to the 19-year-old, she and Justin actually dated in secret for months before announcing their courtship.

The ‘Counting On’ stars are already planning their wedding

According to TV Shows Ace, Claire’s mom Hilary has revealed a few small details about her daughter’s wedding planning. When a fan asked if the couple had set a date, she replied, “Yes, they have!” When another fan asked for a little more info, she said, “It will be next year!”

Hilary then explained that the wedding date is not public, and they are keeping things under wraps to avoid unwanted guests. The expectation is that TLC will feature Justin and Claire’s wedding on Counting On. Then, the couple will likely join the cast full-time along with his married older siblings.

There is an opening in the cast since Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth left the show earlier this year. The first Duggar to walk away from Counting On was Jill Duggar and her husband, Derick Dillard back in 2017. TLC no longer features Justin’s oldest brother Josh and his wife Anna on the series due to his 2015 scandals.

Justin and Claire made their first Counting On appearance together during the most recent season finale in September when they announced their courtship.

Who is Claire Spivey?

Claire is a 19-year-old Texan who comes from a fundamentalist Christian family just like the Duggars. She is the oldest of six children. And Claire’s parents have known Justin’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, for over 20 years.

However, Justin and Claire didn’t actually meet until the spring of 2019. It happened when the Duggars and the Spiveys attended a family conference in Texas. Both families are part of the Institute of Basic Life Principles (IBLP).

Since their courtship announcement, Justin and Claire have started posting pics on their relatively new Instagram accounts. Justin has already built a following of just under 58K, while Claire isn’t too far behind with about 37K followers.

In the comments section of Claire’s handful of posts, there has been plenty of love and plenty of hate. Many fans believe Claire and Justin are too young to get married. Some were “suspicious” about how fast their relationship seemed to be moving.

‘Counting On’ fans have questions, and Claire Spivey has surprising answers

One fan asked, “I’m not curious, I’m suspicious. He’s just 18, and they’ve only been ‘dating’ for a few months. How would one come up with enough $$ to afford that ring in such a short period of time?”

In Claire’s response, she revealed that she and Justin had been dating in secret for months. And she did it with a little sass.

Claire replied, “It was not necessarily a short period of time. From the beginning of our courtship, to engagement, was 14 months. When you wisely manage your finances over the years (not just during a courtship) you can afford purchases debt free by the legal “adult” age of 18. And since you’re not curious but suspicious as if he’s earned his money unlawfully, he hasn’t.”

One fan noticed Claire’s 14-month timeline and wondered why they waited until May to tell their families. That means they were secretly dating for eight months, and that doesn’t make sense in Duggar world. Jim Bob and Michelle have very strict courtship rules and require chaperones at all times. Even on the phone and online.

Once again, Claire responded. “We announced to the family for official documentation in May!!” Claire wrote. “Until that time, everyone knew we were close ‘friends’ and we chose to not say we were official till May. So it was 14 months, we just kept 8 of them quiet.”

New episodes of Counting On will return to TLC in 2021.

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