‘Counting On’: Duggar Family Followers Are Invested in a Courtship That Seems Unlikely to Happen

When TLC first introduced television audiences to the Duggar family on 19 Kids and Counting, the show focused on how Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar raised 19 children. Since then, the focus has shifted to those same kids’ romances. In recent months, family followers have become emotionally invested in one particular courtship. It isn’t one that is actively going on, though. They want to see James Duggar court Lauren Caldwell, the younger sister of Kendra Caldwell. Kendra married Joseph Duggar in 2017.

Duggar family followers theorize that TLC was hinting at a courtship between Lauren Caldwell and James Duggar

Before Justin Duggar announced his surprise courtship in September 2020, family followers assumed that James would be the next Duggar to announce an impending marriage. There was plenty of evidence to suggest something was going on between James and Lauren behind the scenes. In fact, family followers feel pretty certain that TLC was teasing a courtship between the pair for almost an entire season of the show.

RELATED: ‘Counting On’: Who Is Lauren Caldwell, and Why Does Everyone Think She’s Courting James Duggar?

James and Lauren were spotted together multiple times on the show and were filmed being scandalously close, at least by Duggar standards. So, was TLC trolling fans, or did a courtship fall through? Family followers think it could have gone either way. Most viewers believe that, at the very least, the pair had a mutual attraction, if not a full-blown romance.

Lauren was briefly engaged to someone from the family’s social circle

If something was going on, it apparently ended. The potential of a Lauren and James courtship was briefly off the table. In October 2020, the Caldwell family announced the engagement of Lauren to a man named Titus Hall. Fans were quick to note that Titus was substantially older than Lauren, and the pair never bothered to announce a courtship.

Duggar family
The Duggar family | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

The suddenness of the engagement surprised family followers, but not as much as its sudden end. By December 2020, the engagement appeared to be off, and the Caldwells wiped all evidence of the relationship from their social media pages. Some followers have speculated that a love triangle between Lauren, Titus, and James might have caused trouble, but there is no way to confirm that.

Family followers have spent months ‘shipping’ the pair

James and Lauren probably won’t end up together, but that hasn’t stopped viewers from shipping them. One Reddit user noted that they are heavily invested in the couple because they appear to have a genuine attraction to one another. From the brief interactions seen on Counting On and in Instagram posts, that does seem to be true.

RELATED: Fans Think The Duggar Family is Loosening Up Their Courtship Rules

Fans of the potential couple note that, if they got together, they would be one of the first Duggar couples who appeared to get to know each other before running down the aisle. James’ siblings had mostly hasty courtships and even quicker engagements. Jessa Duggar, who married Ben Seewald in 2014, had the longest courtship thus far. Still, the couple only courted for 11 months before announcing their engagement. They were officially married just 14 months after they began seeing each other.