Counting On star Jana Duggar, 30, admits she worries she is still single because there is something ‘majorly wrong’ with her – as she discusses her ‘requirements’ for a husband
- The unmarried 30-year-old talks about her single status on tonight’s episode, saying people have tried to set her up but it hasn’t been ‘God’s timing’
- She doesn’t think she’s picky, but people think there must be something ‘wrong’ with her — and she sometimes wonders if it’s true
- The eldest Duggar daughter used to insist she’d only marry a man who lived in Arkansas, but she’s willing to consider men from elsewhere now, too
- ‘If I really love the guy, I’ll follow him to the ends of the Earth,’ she said. ‘So far I just haven’t found that one’
- Eight of Jana’s siblings — Josh, John David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, and Joy Anna — are married with children
- Jana, who shares a bedroom with four of her younger siblings age 10 to 14, admitted in July that she ‘longs’ to be married
Still single at age 30 in a family that marries young, Jana Duggar doesn’t think she’s especially picky when it comes to finding a man — but the Counting On star does admit in tonight’s episode that she’s loosened up on her husband requirements as she’s gotten older.
Jana used to limit her dating to men who lived in Arkansas and worked with their hands, but has time has gone on, she says she has broadened her search to include men far and wide — because she realized that if she met the right guy, she’d be willing to travel for him.
‘So when he comes, he doesn’t have to stay in Arkansas. It’s just, I gotta love you so much that I will go with you,’ she says.
Just standards! Jana Duggar says she doesn’t think she’s especially picky when it comes to finding a man
‘I used to be a little more strict on, oh, I just want to find someone that would either move to Arkansas or was already from here,’ she said
The unmarried 30-year-old’s romantic life — or lack thereof — has been the subject of family discussion and fan speculation for years, especially as eight of her siblings have already tied the knot and had kids and in light of her evangelical Christian upbringing.
‘I feel like these days, probably one of the most common questions is, am I in a relationship?’ she says in the new episode.
‘Sometimes it gets a little old. I’m like, no I’m not, no I don’t have anyone,’ she says with an eye roll. ‘Sometimes it can get a little, like, what? It’s not the only thing in the world to talk about.’
But while out with her sister-in-law Abbie at a hair salon, a hairdresser asks the dreaded question, prompting Jana to confirm that she’s single.
‘Maybe it will [happen when I least expect it.] As for now it’s nice, I get to do a lot of things, but… I mean, I wouldn’t mind it. There are those moments with, like, all the different couples are hanging out.’
She also admits that people are always attempting to set her up, saying: ‘People here and there, they’re like — or they feel bad for me! I’m like, whatever. They’re like, hey I have a nephew, or I have a cousin.
‘And I’m like, “Oh, thanks,”‘ she says with a cringe.
Will travel: In tonight’s episode of Counting On, she said she is now willing to date men who aren’t local
Back off! She also complained that people will wonder what’s wrong with her because she is still single
‘Most of my siblings get married really young,’ Jana adds, to which the hairdresser replies: ‘You’re probably just bypassing a lot of drama.’
‘Yeah, that’s what I think,’ Jana answers, before adding: ‘Some are like, “Oh man, are you picky?” I’m like, I don’t think so!’
‘Like, what’s wrong with you, your still single?’ the hairdresser says, imitating the kinds of questions she thinks Jana fends off.
‘Yeah, [it’s like they think] there must be something majorly wrong with you. And then I think, oh my, is there?’ Jana says.
Switching to an interview session, a producer notes that Jana has previously stated a preference for men who live in Arkansas and work with their hands, but she now seems to have opened up her dating parameters a bit.
With an embarrassed expression, Jana answers: ‘I used to be a little more strict on, oh, I just want to find someone that would either move to Arkansas or was already from here.
‘But I think, as time has gone on, I think it’s more that I’ve found that I do love to travel more than what I thought I did. It’s been a little more like, OK, well if I really love the guy, I’ll follow him to the ends of the Earth. I’ll want to go wherever he is.
‘So far I just haven’t found that one,’ she said — but adds that plenty of people have tried to set her up
Home sweet home: Jana still lives at her mom and dad’s house, and shares a bedroom with four of her younger sisters, age 10 to 14
Waiting: She said she likes to travel (pictured in Los Angeles) and wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what she has if she’d married younger
‘I could be depressed… but I have to keep telling myself, no, this is what God has planned out, and you know, it’s been great, it’s been fine,’ she said
‘And so far I just haven’t found that one,’ she adds.
As for those that ask Jana why she’s unmarried at 30, she says: ‘Not everyone’s lives look the same, and so yes, I could be depressed… but I have to keep telling myself, no, this is what God has planned out, and you know, it’s been great, it’s been fine.
‘Because if the right one had come along, I would have been married a long time ago. But I just don’t think that it’s been God’s timing yet, and I’ve been able to accomplish a lot of other things that maybe I wouldn’t have, had I been married,’ she says.
In tonight’s episode, called ‘Jana’s Secret Garden,’ Jana flies off to Knoxville, Tennessee with her twin brother John David and his wife Abbie — while the rest of the family builds her a greenhouse on her parents’ land.
Jana still lives at her mom and dad’s house, and shares a bedroom with four of her younger sisters, age 10 to 14.
Jana also reveals that she’s working to start an online business called Arbor Acres, which will sell ‘different things for the home’ including home decor, gardening tools, ‘things for the family,’ and ‘things that we loved growing up.’
‘I have my dreams and my plans in my head, but making them a reality is a whole different story,’ she says.
All the single ladies: Jana previously poked fun at her single status in an Instagram post, posing below a sign that reads: ‘Please form single line’
Good one, Jana! Family and friends delighted in the joke — including sister-in-law Anna and Lawson Bates
In August, Jana tickled fans of the show when she cracked a joke about her single status in an Instagram post.
The Arkansas-based reality star proved she has a sense of humor about the sensitive subject, posing below a sign that reads: ‘Please form single line.’
The sign had a small arrow at the bottom, and she held it above her head to show that she is in the ‘single line.’
Family and friends delighted in the joke.
‘Hahaha!!!! That’s a good one Jana!’ commented her sister-in-law Anna, who is married to sex pest older brother Josh.
‘Post objective / instruction unclear: pls explain further,’ quipped Bringing Up Bates star Lawson Bates.
Several other commenters reassured her that it’s ‘fine’ to be 30 and single, while a few noted that they were in the same boat and that it’s ‘God’s timing.’
Though she is mostly remaining positive, in June, Jana told Us Weekly that she ‘longs’ to be married.
Wants a hubby: Jana has admitted she ‘longs’ to be married, but spending too much time worrying about her single status ‘makes things way worse’
Alone: The 30-year-old Counting On star is the only member of the family over age 21 who has yet to get hitched — and the pressure is particularly high in her Christian community
‘Yes, I long to be married and one day I think that will come,’ she said in an interview with her mother Michelle, 54.
However, she said that spending too much time worrying about her single status ‘makes things way worse.’
‘I’m just just trying to stay busy with whatever comes along my path and just making the most of these single years.’
Jana admitted that ‘sometimes’ she ‘feels a little more pressure’, but ultimately she’s ‘not that worried.’
‘I think if I sit there and I’m like, “Oh no, I’m not married” and just [get] all worried about it, it makes things way worse,’ she said. ‘So I just find the next thing to do to stay busy.’
Counting On fans frequently speculate about Jana’s love life and whether she is secretly ‘courting’ — that family’s term for ‘dating with a purpose’ to get married.
In her family, most have gotten married and starting having babies at quite young ages. Besides Jana, the only single Duggar adults are 18-year-old James, 20-year-old Jason, and 21-year-old twins Jedidiah and Jeremiah.
If you say so: Jana admitted that ‘sometimes’ she ‘feels a little more pressure’, but ultimately she’s ‘ not that worried’
Auntie: Jana is surrounded by babies, including the daughter of her twin brother John David
So Jana — the oldest girl, who is nearly a decade older than 22-year-old Joy Anna, who is expecting her second child — is used to being asked about her love life.
She said that ‘sometimes it can get tiring’ to field ‘the same questions over and over’ — and these days, it’s hardly easy to date, with the pandemic making it more difficult to meet new people.
In the interview, Michelle also sang her daughter’s praises, sounding like a testimonial in a personal ad.
She called Jana ‘incredible’ and ‘an entrepreneur’ — possibly hoping these will be selling points for any single Christian men tuning in.
‘She doesn’t wait and sit around for anything,’ Michelle said. ‘This girl keeps us all busy. If it weren’t for her, half the projects around here wouldn’t get done. But she’s got brothers and she can really encourage them to get — “Hey, let’s get this done, let’s do this.”
‘And then she’s always looking for ways to serve and help wherever she can. And so, she’s a get-it-done kind of person and I’m amazed at all the things that she does.
‘That’s a beautiful thing about Jana is she really has that focus of just serving others and working hard and having fun while she does it, and including others and getting them involved in some of the fun projects,’ she said.
‘I’m just just trying to stay busy with whatever comes along my path and just making the most of these single years,’ she said
Riding solo: Eight of Jana’s adult siblings — everyone over the age of 21 — are already married
She said ‘sometimes it can get tiring’ to field ‘the same questions over and over’ — and these days, it’s hardly easy to date, with the pandemic making it more difficult to meet new people
On Counting On and Instagram, Jana’s projects — and the ways in which she keeps busy — are on full display.
The 30-year-old likes to garden, do home design, and play music. She also helps take care of her younger siblings still at home: Justin, 17, Jackson, 16, Johanna, 14, Jennifer, 13, Jordyn, 11, and Josie, 10.
In a previous episode of Counting On, Jana was also asked about the pressure to wed.
‘There can be that pressure, I guess. I mean, everyone’s always giving their suggestions,’ she said. ‘Some will pressure in some ways. And I’m like, “Y’all when the time comes…”
She added that there ‘have been a number of guys’ who have expressed interest, but ‘none of them worked out,’ and she hasn’t been in ‘courtships, necessarily.’
Though no relationships for Jana have played out on camera, there have been various rumors over the years of potential suitors — most notably, Lawson Bates, a fellow Christian fundamentalist who appears with his family on the show Bringing Up Bates.
Big sis: Her sisters Joy Anna, Jinger, Jessa, and Jill are all married with children
Full-grown adult: Because she is unmarried, she still lives with her parents and abides by their rules
Jana has never confirmed that they were involved, but the rumors have persisted, thanks in part to Lawson’s flirty Instagram comments.
‘Different ones of us have been in relationships, courtships, whatever you want to label it as,’ Jana added, avoiding talking about herself in particular. ‘Of course, it doesn’t always end in marriage and that’s OK. You have to sometimes talk to someone, get to know someone and just realize, you know what, it doesn’t have to end in marriage.’
Though she’s clearly trying to look on the bright side, the eldest Duggar daughter did seem to be struggling a bit with her single status.
‘If I was sitting here waiting to get married, I think that would be more depressing but instead, I really look at this as, OK what are other things maybe that I could be doing right now that maybe I can’t do later?
‘I’ve really enjoyed the different opportunities that I’ve had, [like] to travel, even still being able to travel with my family that maybe my married siblings can’t do.’
Jana has long been seen as a sort of surrogate mother to her younger siblings, as she’s been involved in helping to raise them since she was a young teen herself.
The family’s intense focus on marriage and childbearing has made it particularly surprising that Jana has yet to tie the knot.
Her siblings all got married in their late teens or early 20s, with the exception of her twin brother John David, who married at 28.
In the Duggar family, girls live at home and follow their parents’ rules until they marry.
One of those rules includes wearing only modest skirts and dresses, with pants being off limits. Several of Jana’s sisters now wear pants, but only began to do so after they married.
The Duggar women also abstained from social media until getting married, with only Jana being the exception. She finally joined Instagram earlier this year before her 29th birthday.