The Duggar family is known for being very large and having some strict religious morals and values. But the Bates family certainly holds a candle to them. Given how much they have in common, it make sense why they would be the best of friends. So, it's only natural for people to wonder — how do the Bates and Duggar families know each other? Needless to say, they have a lot in common, which naturally brought them together.
By now, people are already well versed when it comes to the Duggars — the family of 19 (plus mom and dad, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar) from Arkansas star on the TLC reality show, Counting On and are deeply rooted in their religion, according to People. The Bates family is very similar to them. They are also comprised of 19 children (just like the Duggar family) and are evangelical christians, according to ABC News. They also happen to star in UPTV's reality show, Bringing Up Bates.
They also happen to be incredibly close to the Duggar family. Oldest Duggar daughter, Jana, has been reportedly been a little flirty with 27-year-old Lawson Bates, on Instagram, according to In Touch Weekly. And Joy-Anna Duggar is best friends with 21-year old, Carlin Bates. Carlin was right by her side when she suffered a miscarriage earlier this summer, according to InTouch Weekly, which is such a testament to their friendship.
Therefore, it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone that the families go way back.
In a 2012 episode of the Duggar's TLC reality show at the time, 19 Kids & Counting, Jim Bob explained that people had seen the Bates family on their show plenty of times, because they're that close. "They are just a precious family," he said.
But it wasn't until Jim Bob went on the Bates family's TLC show at the time, United Bates of America, in 2012 where he explained how they officially met. "Back about 15 years ago, I went to a conference, and I walked in and I saw this family with about, seven or eight kids around the table. I said, 'This kind of looks like my family.' That was Gil and Kelly Bates," Jim Bob explained. "We've been friends ever since. And we love getting together. We love watching our kids multiply and grow up together — it's been a really special relationship."
Although the Bates family from Tennessee and the Duggars are from Arkansas, according to InTouch Weekly, the families were able to still find the time to hang out with each other, and make their friendship a priority, which is awesome.
While the families might seem the exact same, they actually have quite a few differences, according to InTouch Weekly. The Bates family is less strict about their views on courting (or dating) and reportedly don't put pressure on their kids in relationships to get married. In spite of their differences, the Bates and Duggar families still remain super close — so close, in fact, that in 2015, Erin Bates told Entertainment Tonight that a Duggar-Bates wedding could happen somewhere down the line.
"I personally think, 'Hey, you have 19 kids on each side.' I think it's almost inevitable somewhere down the line," Erin said. "As much as we see each other, I think there's going to be an attraction somewhere. I don't know where yet, but I think it's going to happen."
Since these families are so unique, it's awesome that they have each other to rely on and confide in. But who knows? Maybe a friendship between the members of the family will turn in to a romantic relationship in the future.