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The Duggar family and the Bates family may no longer be close, but once upon a time, the two supersized families spent a lot of time together. Many of their children were around the same age. Naturally, over the years, courtship rumors have followed the families. So far, none of the Duggar kids have publicly dated any of the Bateses. Still, rumors persist. We’ve collected a few of the rumored pairings. 

Carlin Bates is rumored to have dated Joseph Duggar

Carlin Bates is now married to Evan Stewart. Based on their YouTube videos, they seem well-suited to each other. He wasn’t her first boyfriend, though. Before Evan came into the picture, Carlin was dating someone else. In a YouTube Q&A, Carlin revealed she was nursing a broken heart when Evan first showed interest in her. She even admitted that she had been “dumped.” 

The Duggar family gathered together and smiling. The Duggars followed IBLP and Bill Gothard
Duggar family | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

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While Carlin didn’t name her suitor, Duggar family followers suspect Carlin was courting Joseph Duggar, but things soured. The timing makes sense. Joseph was living in Tennessee in 2015 and spent a lot of time with the Bates family. He met and married Kendra Caldwell in 2017 after returning to Arkansas. Carlin began dating Evan in 2016 and announced their official courtship in 2017. The couple married in 2019. 

Lawson Bates was believed to be interested in Jinger Vuolo at one point 

Lawson Bates married Tiffany Espensen in 2022 after more than a year of dating. While Lawson and Tiffany certainly appear happy and in love, she might not have been the first girl to steal his heart. Rumors that Lawson was interested in dating Jinger Vuolo have persisted since around the time she announced her courtship with Jeremy Vuolo. 

According to several sources, Lawson seemed especially melancholy on social media in the months leading up to Jinger’s wedding. He even posted on Twitter on the day of her nuptials. In the post, he suggested comparing yourself to others leads to a lack of contentment. The post was likely sent from the couple’s wedding reception. 

Neither Jinger nor Lawson has ever commented on their rumored romance. Family followers remain unsure whether there was an actual romance or just some unrequited love on Lawson’s part. 

Lawson Bates was also once linked to Jana Duggar 

Jinger wasn’t the only Duggar that Lawson has been linked to. For years, rumors swirled that Lawson Bates and Jana Duggar were a secret item. The rumors of a potential love connection between Jana and Lawson date back to 2019. Duggar family followers started speculating about Lawson and Jana when Kelly Jo Bates accidentally liked an Instagram comment asking if Lawson and Jana were together. 

The rumors became so intense that Lawson issued a statement. Lawson clearly didn’t learn anything from the previous Instagram-fueled rumors. Talk of a romance ignited again the following year when Lawson commented on one of Jana’s Instagram posts declaring her singleness. Despite what could be considered a “flirty” comment, Lawson and Jana have always maintained that they are just friends. According to In Touch, Jana attended Lawson and Tiffany’s California wedding.