It’s a rumor that’s been with us for years and simply refuses to die.
No, we’re not talking about reports that Jill Duggar is begging to get back on TV because her family is broke.
We’re talking about the rumor that Jana Duggar and Lawson Bates are courting!
Yes, this one has been around for a while, and you might be inclined to think it’s just wishful thinking among fans.
But every time we dismiss it, some new piece of evidence emerges to convince us that if these two aren’t courting, they’re at least pre-courting.
Yes, believe it or not, pre-courting is a thing.
Before Duggars embark on the chaste, sexless form of dating that they call courting, they sometimes engage in an even slower, more heavily-chaperoned version called pre-courting.
And many fans are convinced that Jana and Lawson are at this stage in their relationship.
The latest evidence comes to us courtesy of a video that Lawson’s sister, Carlin Bates, posted in her Instagram Story this week.
(For those who are unaware, Lawson is like Jinger in that he has 47,000 siblings — unfortunately, the Bates’ reality show is far less popular).
The since-deleted clip shows Jana playing a board game with Lawson, Carlin, Carlin’s husband, and Jana’s sister Johannah Duggar.
That may not sound like a sure sign of romance — and it’s not.
But if Jana and Lawson were courting, or pre-courting, or pre-pre-courting (to be honest, we wouldn’t be surprised to find out that’s a thing in the Duggars’ world), then it would look a lot like this.
You see, the Duggars don’t believe in allowing unmarried couples to be alone together.
And they prefer to use siblings and married couples as chaperones.
So Johannah being there alongside Carlin and her husband would make a lot of sense.
After all, Jana is unmarried at 30, which is virtually unprecedented in the Duggars’ world.
Her family might feel she needs to be watched extra carefully, as the devil has had extra time to seize control of her loins, or some such nonsense.
Look, obviously Jana courtship rumors have been circulating for years, and the vast majority of them have turned out to be baseless nonsense.
(Remember the rumor that Jana was being courted by Tim Tebow?)
But the Lawson reports have been with us the longest, and they don’t seem to be going away.
That could mean there’s some legitimacy to them — or it might just mean that some fans are really, really upset by the fact that Jana is still single, and they’re desperate to pair her off.