‘Bringing Up Bates’: Did the Bates Family Cause Trace Bates’ Breakup?

The Bates boy have not been particularly lucky in love. While the family’s counterparts, the Duggar family, have only recorded a single failed courtship, the Bates family now has four failed relationships under their belt. While that might not seem odd to mainstream families, it’s a bit unusual for members of the ultra-conservative Christian ministry, the Institute of Basic Life Principles. Fans are now theorizing that the Bates boys, like Trace Bates, have failed courtships because the family is a little too much.

The IBLP advises young adults to court instead of date

Young adults meet someone they like, date them for a while, break up, and move onto another relationship. It’s not atypical behavior for teens. In fact, it’s theorized that casual dating helps people better understand what is important to them in a partnership. The IBLP, however, strongly advises against casual dating. Instead, the Christian ministry suggests courtships are the best way to safeguard a person’s heart.

During courtship, a young couple is not allowed to be alone together, nor are they allowed to have physical contact. The relationship, when it moves into courtship, is also considered more serious than casual dating. In many cases, courtships turn into engagements and marriages relatively quickly, even when the couple is young. Joy-Anna Duggar and her husband, Austin Forsyth, for example, only courted for a few months before they announced their engagement. The Bates family seems to take a bit longer to move towards engagement, but even still, the relationships seem to get pretty serious pretty quickly. Family followers believe the intense nature of the relationship expectations may cause problems, particularly for the Bates boys.

Did the Bates family scare off Trace’s girlfriend?

A family that includes 19 siblings would be a lot for most women, but fans theorize that the Bates family might be a little too close for comfort for potential partners. Reddit followers note that Trace Bates’ lady friend, Chaney, looked incredibly uncomfortable in episodes of Bringing Up Bates that she has been featured in. The episodes were filmed before the couple’s breakup.

The Bates family
The Bates family | James Ambler / Barcroft USA / Getty Images

Some followers worry that Trace’s siblings might take the teasing just a little too far, and could potentially make a relationship seem more serious than it is. While the family does follow basic courtship rules, it appears the Bates family is far more relaxed in the basic process than the Duggar family. That doesn’t mean they don’t take the chance to reference marriage as often as possible. While the behavior is cringeworthy to watch, family followers imagine it’s pretty terrifying for the ladies who decide to date a Bates boy.

What happens now?

Failed courtships aren’t particularly common in the family’s sect of Christianity, even still, there appears to be a protocol that young men are supposed to follow if a courtship fails. The young men and women who are involved in courtships are not supposed to move quickly into the next relationship. In fact, they are advised to take at least a year off before pursuing another love interest.  

Kelly Jo Bates, the family matriarch, confirmed that her children are advised to take some time to themselves when a relationship ends. Zach Bates, who met his wife, Whitney Perkins, shortly after ending a courtship, waited nearly a year before he began dating her. Nathan Bates, who had a failed courtship in 2016, has not yet pursued another love interest. How long Trace will wait to find love again is anyone’s guess, but it’s assumed that fans won’t be seeing a new girlfriend anytime soon.