Why is Jana Duggar single?
That's a question Duggar Nation has been asking for years, and fans have not shied away from offering their two cents, and then some.
Some theories are more out there than others, obviously; Jana isn't secretly a monster underneath her long dresses and skirts (we think).
But regardless of why the 27-year-old remains on the market, she continues to fascinate fans because WHY IS SHE ON THE MARKET?!
With Jill, Jessa and Jinger all married and Joy-Anna not far behind, the eldest Duggar daughter does her own thing. It's a little baffling.
Here's a look at all the rumors or reports we've read explaining this most unlikely phenomenon, and why they're likely true (or false).
UPDATE: Since the publication of this piece, rumors have been swirling about Jana Duggar courting. Yes, at long, long last!
We would love to claim credit for it, but she and Jonathan Hartono have known each other for years, according to insiders.
NOTE: This has not been confirmed by the family, but it also hasn't been denied. So ... cautiously optimistic fingers crossed!
She's not allowed to date because Jim Bob needs her as a surrogate mom.
This theory is both the longest-running and the most likely, given that Jana has been taking care of her younger siblings for her entire life (when she was born, the show was called 3 & Counting ... just kidding). In all seriousness, she's been a key part of raising her brothers and sisters for years, and even now, can be seen taking care of her nieces and nephews (like Josh's daughter, above). Whether or not this correlates with Jim Bob turning a blind eye to suitors, or her simply being so put-upon that she can't consider courting, or some combination of both? That we may never know for sure, but Jana earned the nickname "Cinderella Duggar" for a reason.
In the Duggars' world view, a woman’s value comes solely from the amount of babies she can crank out over the course of a lifetime, so if Jana doesn’t have that ability, she may not be "desirable" for Jim Bob and Michelle in terms of finding her a partner ... and as such, she might as well be put to work, dovetailing with the above theory.
She's a lesbian.
Unlikely ... but it has been rumored before on several occasions, and scientifically at least, 1-2 of the Duggars' 19 kids being gay is plausible, maybe even likely. Jana hasn’t shown any interest in courting, and we can't imagine there wouldn't be interest from young men ... if she’s attracted to women, her family would never admit it, or she would never admit it to them, and she would enter into a life of servitude to Jim Bob and Michelle. A stretch, but crazier things have happened.
She's not impressed ... by the Quiverfull movement.
Another fan theory is that Jana has taken a Godly path, just not the ultra-controversial one espoused by her parents. Jim Bob and Michelle have embraced the "Quiverfull" movement, which basically means "be fruitful and multiply." Jana, the theory goes, wants to embark on a path of celibacy, like the apostle Paul recommended. A little out there, but then again these are the Duggars. Can you rule that out?
She's not allowed to date until John David does, or doesn't want to.
That's just lunacy ... but it is interesting that neither of the twins have entered into a courtship. Twins are known for a bond that few others understand or share. Perhaps they're somehow looking to be paired off at the same time?
She's not settling. (Or is too picky.)
Crazy notion, right? That a 27-year-old woman just hasn't felt strongly enough about a particular person yet? She basically said this last fall, telling TLC: “I don’t know what the next five years will look like. In some ways you’ve got hopes and dreams. Maybe I’ll meet the one and get married and have kids and stuff. There have been different guys come along and ask, but they haven’t been the right one. It’s just one of those things. I’m not just out to get married to the first one who comes along.” Case closed?
She's waiting for the right (working) man.
Following up on the previous point, in a Counting On episode from 2016, she made a rare comment about her dream boyfriend when asked by her sister-in-law who that might look like. “A hardworking guy versus an office job guy,” she said when Anna Duggar asked her what she looks for in a man. When her sister, Jessa, says Jana prefers a guy that “gets his hands dirty,” Jana agreed. “I want dirt under the nails,” she added with a laugh.
She's just too busy ... and beaten down by life.
Jana recently said the thing she's most looking forward to in 2017 was the birth of Jessa's baby, which set off alarm bells across Duggar Nation. Is she not allowed to pursue her own life? She also spoke of her unique situation in a sit-down with TLC. “It’s like this weird in-between stage. I’m not a younger one, but I’m not an older, married one with kids. It can be tempting like, ‘Oh, I really want to be married,’ because, in those moments, your siblings that are married and have little ones are going on dates and doing their thing,” she lamented.
She needs to broaden her horizons a bit.
Jana has been linked to two members of the Bates family of "Bringing Up Bates" fame ... Lawson (that was news to her, in 2017), and Zach, who expressed interest a few years ago ... but she wasn't interested. “She wasn’t attracted to him and just didn’t see it working out,” a source said, adding that Jana is “extremely picky” and "wants the real deal and won’t settle for less. She’s more goal-orientated that some of her siblings. For her, it’s not just about being married.” She may want to diversify and go beyond family friends, though. Ever hear of Tinder, Jana?! Or Bumble, or Match?!
She puts her career before marriage.
Jana is a trained midwife, a successful home renovator (seriously) and has many other side pursuits. Perhaps she wants to figure out a career for herself before (and maybe in addition to) starting a family? Might not be the worst idea. See: Duggar, Anna.
She just doesn't want kids.
Crazy as that may seem, some women simply don't want their own kids, and she's already been raising children her whole life! If she weren't keen on getting pregnant and raising her own next, would anyone really blame her?
She's courting ... and we just don't know it!
Maybe, just maybe, Jana has been in a courtship (or two) that hasn't been fast-tracked, and she doesn't want it advertised on TV. After all the attention - and scrutiny - that her sisters Jill, Jessa and Jinger have received since their romances went public, one could understand a penchant for privacy. Whether she could keep it on the DL for too long is questionable, but it's not out of the realm of possibility that she's courting now, and/or has in the past, and we simply don't know about it. Especially given Duggar Nation's interest in Jana, she might be reluctant to share the details until she knows, for a fact, that it will take.
She's breaking free ... of everything, forever!
After 27 years of the Duggar lifestyle, she's come to the realization that the family's strict rules and restrictions aren't for everyone, even those raised with them, and has been hatching an elaborate plot to disappear and frame Jim Bob for her murder a la Amy from Gone Girl. Okay, the whole deception / murder / vengeance concept is a bit of a stretch given her sweet and saintly nature, but mark our words, people: If not Jana, one day, one of these kids is going to rebel and flee the compound for real.