Those who have followed the Duggars and even the Bates know a thing or two about each family's courtship rules. Instead of simply dating, the kids in both families find a partner they prefer to court with intentions of getting married, thus doing away with physical temptations and wasteful dates with a myriad of other partners they never end up marrying.
But because the Bates are friends with the Duggars and have been for years, fans have wondered why kids in one family haven't approached potential partners in the other to court. In a way, merging these two families would be like creating bona fide Fundie royalty.
Somehow, though, it has never happened, despite speculation over the years that specific Bates children were perfect for some of the Duggar kids.
So, why haven't the Duggars and Bates dated?
In the early days of the Duggars' initial TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting, they welcomed the Bates into their home more than once and even put on friendly competitions in the yard for the sake of entertainment. At the time, producers asked about the possibility of a courtship brewing between kids from each family.
The coy answers from the teenage Bates kids and younger Duggars made it seem like it was a possibility for some of them to link up at some point, but it never happened. Although neither Jim Bob Duggar nor Gil Bates, the respective patriarchs from each family, have come out to explain why their kids have never courted or married to combine their families, there are some theories out there.
On a Reddit thread dedicated to speculating on why the Bates and Duggars have never dated and snarking on that fact, someone suggested that it has to do with money. Derrick Dillard, Jill Duggar's husband, has hinted on social media about Jim Bob allegedly controlling all finances that came from the family's TLC shows.
Gil, in turn, makes money for his family from their own show, Bringing up Bates, on UPtv.
If neither would want to bend in terms of sharing some of the wealth or even some of the power that being the heads of their families give them, especially with their own reality TV empires, then maybe the Duggars and Bates have never dated because of each family's father.
There's also the possibility that, after multiple scandals have come out about the Duggars over the years, the Bates simply don't want to attach their name to the family.
Sure, the Bates and Duggars might still be close, but it has been years since they appeared on the small screen together. No one in the Bates family has confirmed that there is hesitation to marry into the Duggar family due to its reputation, but it's another strong possibility as to why no one in the Bates family has ever courted a Duggar and vice versa.
The Duggar scandals from over the years probably haven't helped.
After the molestation scandal involving Josh and some of his younger sisters, it came out that he had cheated on his wife, Anna Duggar, on an online dating site. In 2021, Josh Duggar was arrested after being accused of having child pornography on his computer.
For the Duggars, the hits keep coming. If the Bates are uneasy about allowing any of the available adult kids to date, or court, a Duggar, it makes sense.
Some of the Bates and Duggars are still BFFs.
Even though the Bates and Duggars have never dated, the families do appear to be close in other ways. Joy Duggar and Carlin Bates have been friends for years and often spend time together, despite living in different states. In fact, Joy got flack during the pandemic for hopping on a plane with her infant daughter to see Carlin.
Despite there being almost no plans in sight for any of the Duggars to marry the Bates, the families are still in contact. It would seem that combining them into a super Fundie powerhouse just isn't in the cards. And with so much drama already going on within the Duggar family, that makes total sense.