For months now, Duggar fans have been speculating about the nature of the extremely close relationship between Jana Duggar and Laura DeMasie.
Typically, the Duggars refuse to comment on social media rumors, but the chatter was so loud in this case that Jana felt she had no choice but to respond.
When an Instagram follower asked Jana point-blank if she's dating Laura, the 29-year-old offered an uncharacteristically blunt response:
“No,” Jana replied promptly. “And I would like to stop that rumor. I have no interest in girls that way whatsoever.
“I have ‘courted’ or ‘dated’ a few guys but so far nothing has gone into a serious relationship,” Jana continued.
“Just continuing to wait and pray for the right guy to come along."
Rumors about Jana's love life have been circulating for years, and this terse response constitutes her most detailed reply to date.
Clearly, Jana is eager to put the Laura rumors behind her.
Unfortunately, she may find that's easier said than done.
These days, DeMasie lives in Georgia, having relocated from Arkansas for a career opportunity.
But in the Duggar-fixated corners of the internet, fans are still convinced that she and Jana are far more than just friends.
“On one hand the [religion] does emphasize same-sex friendships in unmarried women … and the Duggars particularly seem to have an issue separating friend things and family things, so it wouldn’t be weird for them to have an unwed daughter always doing everything with a close female friend,” one Reddit user remarked after Jana's firm denial.
“On the other hand, 30-year-old single women living in the same house and doing everything together as “best friends”
Others believed Jana's claim that she's not physically attracted to Laura, but still maintained that DeMasie fills a need that goes deeper than a typical friendship:
“I don’t know if she is gay but I think part of the reason why she hangs out with [Laura] is because Jana [desires] adult company," one fan theorized.
"All of her adult sisters are gone. I doubt she can have a meaningful conversation with her younger sisters.”
We're inclined to believe Jana, and questioning someone's sexuality when they've made it clear that such speculation makes them uncomfortable is, frankly, not a good look.
That said, it's not hard to see why fans are convinced there's more going on here.
After all, it must get awfully lonely on that compound.