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The Duggar family, famed for their show Counting On, introduced the TV viewing world to the concept of modern-day courtships. The Bates family, who run in the same social circle as the Duggars, also follow courtship rules when they wed. While family followers have long suspected there are some major differences between the Bates family and the Duggar family, their different courtship lengths are the most glaring. The Bates family appears to be much less likely to rush to the altar, but is that really the case?

The Duggar family appears to marry quickly

The Duggar family appears to move quickly once they find someone they are interested in. They are especially quick to move from announcing a courtship to announcing an engagement. Some of the siblings agreeing to spend their life with their partner just three months after entering a romance.

A closeup of Jill Duggar's engagement ring
Jill Duggar’s engagement ring | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

Jill Duggar, who married Derick Dillard in 2014, courted for just over a month before Derick proposed. Joy Duggar and Austin Forsyth courted for 49 days before he popped the question, and Joseph Duggar dated Kendra Caldwell for just two and a half months before he asked her to become his wife. The family’s longest courtship to date was between Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald. Jessa was the first Duggar daughter to enter a courtship. She dated Ben for 11 months before they announced their engagement.

The Bates family seems to take things much slower

The Bates family appears to be a bit laxer when it comes to courtship rules, and their courtships seem to last significantly longer than the Duggar family’s courtships. According to Duggar Data, the average Bates courtship lasts 236 days. After the proposals, the couples generally take about 100 days to plan a wedding.

Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart had the longest courtship out of the Bates family thus far. The couple began dating in September 2016 but did not announce their relationship until March 2017. They announced their engagement in September 2018, two years after they began dating. Nine months later, they married. Erin Bates and her husband, Chad Paine, had the shortest courtship. The couple began their romance in December 2012. Chad asked for Erin’s hand in marriage in August 2013, and the pair wed in November 2013.

Does the Bates family wait longer to get married, really?

While it seems as though the Bates kids are a bit slower to commit to marriage than the Duggars, family followers think they may just announce courtships earlier than the Duggar family. Eagle-eyed viewers note that many of the Duggar kids’ partners appear in photographs and videos long before the family announces the relationship. It’s possible that the Duggar family simply stretches out the “getting to know you” phase of dating before they promote the official relationship. Jeremy Vuolo, for example, was spied at Jessa’s baby shower months before he officially began courting Jinger Duggar.  

The Bates family poses for promotional photos for 'Bringing Up Bates'
The Bates family | James Ambler / Barcroft USA / Getty Images

‘Counting On’: What Are the Rules for Courtship In the Duggar Family?

That might also be the reason why the Duggar family appears to have less failed courtships than the Bates family. To date, the Duggars have only publicly acknowledged one failed romance. The Bates family, on the other hand, has had to announce a breakup three times. Zach Bates, Nathan Bates, and Trace Bates have all announced splits. So far, only Josiah Duggar has publicly ended a relationship, although family critics believe both Jana Duggar and Josh Duggar have had failed relationships in the past.