Things seem to be getting serious between Jana Duggar and rumored fiance Stephen Wissmann.
How serious? Well, fans found Jana and Stephen’s wedding registry.Whether it was real or just Duggar disinformation remains unclear.
But what is increasingly clear is that the Duggars and the Wissmanns have been very close for many years.
Has Jana and Stephen’s courtship been going on for much longer than anyone realized?
Jana Duggar, Stephen Wissmann, and their respective families have still not confirmed that they are courting.
However, fans suspect that they have been in a courtship dating back since late 2020 if not beyond that.
That’s what the evidence suggests, anyway.
Jana is 31 years old, but remains at home.
For most of her fellow Millennials, this might be out of economic necessity, or due to the pandemic or a disability.
But because the Duggar family are part of a restrictive cult, Jana lives at home because she is not married.
Jana’s unmarried status makes her a "child" in ways that siblings a decade younger who are married are not.
We are speaking in terms of how the Duggars, their church, and the IBLP cult as a whole view things, not of reality, of course.
She is viewed as being functionally Jim Bob’s property until she married — at which point she will belong to her husband.
And who is Jana’s future owner — sorry, husband? Fans are pretty sure that they already know.
That’s Stephen Wissmann, a pilot from a large fundamentalist family in Nebraska.
He is a physically active guy who also works for the Wissmann family business.
Jana and Stephen have reportedly attended weddings together.
Not so long ago, Jana was spotted at a truck stop in Nebraska.
Fans cannot think of any reason for her to be in that state unless she’s visiting the Wissmann’s — and Stephen.
The earliest evidence that they might be courting cropped up in late 2020.
It appears that Jana spent the holidays with the Wissmann family.
Between the Duggar family rules and how common it is to spend holidays like Christmas with family, it’s hard to imagine her being "allowed" to go unless it’s a courtship.
But the links between the Duggars and the Wissmann family go back further.
Social media sleuths recently uncovered an old photo, shared by the Wissmann family.
In the 2014 image, Stephen’s sisters and mothers pose alongside an all-too-familiar face.
The bad vibes leaking from this image are not deceiving you: that’s Michelle Duggar near the center of the pic.
It’s unclear why she was chatting with the Wissmanns at this particular time.
The image has been posted to Reddit, and Duggar fans and critics alike realize that these families have more history than they knew.
That could mean that Jana and Stephen have effectively known each other "forever."
However, they probably would not have been permitted to actually get to know one another as human beings.
Fundamentalist cultists enforce strict ideas about gender separation beginning at very young ages.
However, some fans who are skeptical of the courtship rumors note that this longstanding bond could be evidence against a courtship.
Jana and Stephen being spotted side by side might just be what happens between adult family friends.
Maybe their age makes them trusted to stand near each other in crowded spaces even though they’re not husband and wife.
That’s a fair point. A lot of the evidence of their possible relationship is based upon hope and speculation.
However, with each new incident of these two in each other’s proximity, the courtship rumors sound more likely.
There is another theory that is being passed around on social media, however.
There could have been a very quiet betrothal many years ago.
Given how much has happened with the Duggar brand over seven years, the conversation could have gone many ways.
It’s even possible that Josh Duggar’s 2015 scandal — or even his more recent arrest — have impacted Jana’s prospects in unseen ways.
We don’t know if they’re engaged. None of the evidence is a smoking gun, even if it’s clearly pointing in one direction.
But since Jim Bob and Michelle wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them, let alone tell the truth, people are naturally going to speculate.
Without guessing ahead, no one will know when (or if) Jana ties the knot until wedding bells have already rung.