‘Counting On’: Did Lawson Bates Want to Court Jinger Duggar Before She Married Jeremy Vuolo?

For years, rumors have swirled about a possible courtship between Jana Duggar and Lawson Bates. Counting On watchers have long suspected that something might be going on between the eldest Duggar daughter and the Bringing Up Bates cast member. They point to a pattern of flirty Instagram comments and suspicious visits between Duggar and Bates family members as a sign that a wedding might be in the works. But there’s also a theory that Lawson once had his eye on a different Duggar.

Reports linked Lawson Bates and Jinger Duggar

Jinger Duggar has been married to former pro soccer player Jeremy Vuolo since 2016. But reports at the time suggest that before Jinger and Jeremy started courting, she may have been in the early stages of a relationship with Lawson. 

In 2015, Radar Online claimed that Jinger and Lawson were in a “secret courtship.” The two — along with Jinger’s siblings Joy-Anna and John David — took in a college football game together in Tennessee. A video originally shared by Lawson but later removed showed the two sitting next to each other in the stadium. A few months earlier, Jinger and Lawson seemed pretty cozy at cousin Amy Duggar’s wedding, the publication shared.

Some think Jinger broke Lawson’s heart

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Whether or not Jinger and Lawson were ever in a courtship was never confirmed. But Duggar family followers noticed that Lawson seemed particularly downcast when he attended Jinger’s wedding to Jeremy on November 5, 2016. 

Lawson was one of about 1,000 guests at the couple’s nuptials. He even tweeted a photo of himself holding Jessa Duggar’s son Spurgeon. But it was a couple of other tweets from the country singer that got people talking, Inquisitr reported. 

In one, Lawson wrote, “As long as you’re comparing, you’ll never be content.” Another read, “If you saw me last night & I was a lil out of sorts, srry; It was quite a day.????”

“Based on the photo and tweets from Lawson, I get the feeling something is very wrong there,” wrote one person on the Free Jinger forum. “Whether he and Jinger had a secret thing for each other, or he knows/heard something about Jeremy and didn’t want to hurt her, etc. My heart breaks for him for whatever it is.” Another user noted that he’s also shared some vague tweets around the time Jinger’s courtship and engagement were announced, which could be interpreted as him being upset about the relationship. 

Fans think something is up with Lawson and Jana

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If fan theories are correct, Jinger was the Duggar that originally had Lawon’s heart. But now, they suspect he’s transferred his affections to another member of the family. They’re convinced an under-the-radar courtship is happening between Lawson and Jana. 

Since Jana joined Instagram in early 2019, Lawson has left flirty comments on her posts. In 2018, he shared — then deleted — a photo of the two of them together. Earlier in 2020, a video surfaced of Jana, Lawson, and several of their siblings playing cards. Some thought it was proof the two were an item, since all courting couples in the Duggar and Bates families are typically chaperoned when together. 

However, neither Jana nor Lawson has said anything about being in a relationship with each other. Both have also made comments in recent months about being single. As of now, there’s no confirmation that they are anything more than friends.