Scott Pilgrim and the Aftermath of Relationships
I say, “Bread Makes You Fat?!” way too often. Scott Pilgrim is
one of those movies that worked its way into my subconscious
way too deeply. By the time the movie dropped in 2010, I had
been married for 6 years and was in good standing with all of
my exes. Beyond the over the top action, general quirkiness,
and fun musical aspect, I didn’t take a lot away from the actual
story. Nine years and countless viewings later, I’ve realized
there are some lessons to learn from Scott and Ramona's
failed relationships. Now, I’ve been married for 15 years and
still am in good standing with all my exes (truly hope none of
them show up to battle), but I still have things to learn.
Dating and its methods have changed fundamentally since I
was in that world. I first spoke to my wife on AOL Instant
Messenger. I didn’t own a cellphone until halfway through our
dating relationship. Social media was a not an issue, and I
never experienced the whole “talking” to someone phase. You
were either dating someone or not. I can’t claim to be an
expert on dating, nor would I want this book to be that. I put
way too much effort into “I Kissed Dating Goodbye/Boy Meets
Girl” in my dating years. You don’t need a geeky Bible study
telling you it has all the answers, but the Bible does have a lot
of truth we can learn from.
Direction & Intention
The first thing we see as the movie starts is this:
“Not so long ago ... In the mysterious land ... Of
Toronto, Canada... Scott Pilgrim was dating a
That was cute when I watched it the first time. Now as a
parent of an almost teenager, ew. He was 22 years old, dating
a 17-year-old. I get that age isn’t always a factor per say, and
that some of you may have even been in that same place. Yet
Scott wasn’t exactly thoughtful or deliberate in his intentions
when he began his relationship with Knives. He pursued the
relationship with her because she served his own ego and
made him feel better about who he was as a person. In dating
a younger woman, he was able to automatically become cool
and a rockstar without ever having to actually mature as a
So often we begin relationships not for mutual benefit, but
simply because we see something we can get out of someone,
whether it be physical or emotional response towards us.
Relationships should be with a purpose and direction. In the
book Scary Close, by Donald Miller, he quotes Al Andrews.
“All relationships are teleological; it means they’re going
somewhere. All relationships are living and alive and
moving and becoming something. My question to you is
where is the relationship you’ve started going?”
Beyond the creepy age thing, the Knives relationship was an
issue because there wasn’t a direction or intention.
Scott’s Sister: Scott, why are you doing this?
Scott: I don’t know. It’s just nice, you know? It’s just
Scott’s Sister: Are you legitimately moving on? Or is this
just you being insane?
Scott: Can I get back to you on that?
Scott legitimately had no purpose or direction in his
relationship with Knives, but even though he had none, it was
still moving in a direction. For Knives, it was important and
something crucial for her life. Her heart and mind were bound
up in this because she thought Scott was in the same place as
her. It’s not just on Scott though. Even as Ramona pointed out,
she wasn’t in this with a direction either.
Ramona: If it makes you feel better, you're the nicest
guy I've ever dated.
Scott: Wait is that good?
Ramona: It's what I need right now.
Scott: But not later?
Ramona: Scott, I don’t have all the answers okay? I’d just
like to try to live in the moment if I can.
Repeatedly, in the book of Song of Solomon, we see the
scripture, “Do not arouse, or awaken love, until it so desires.”
Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5, and 8:4 all say that. We have a
responsibility not to start something we have no intention to
finish. That means not kickstarting people’s emotions,
intimacy, and commitment if we know we aren’t in that place
yet. I know that sometimes you date to figure those things out,
but bear in mind you are responsible for what you awaken in
someone else. Scott was dating a high schooler because it was
easy and it made him feel cool. That’s not enough reason to
drag Knives heart through the snowy streets of Toronto. Be
cautious when it comes to what you start. Think through what
you actually want, what direction you intend to move in, and
how it will affect that person before you let it get that far.
Peace & Destruction
One of the craziest things about Ramona and Scott’s story is
how much destruction was left in the wake of their
relationships. Scott caused emotional trauma to Kim and
Knives, but Ramona’s wake of chaos was rather devastating
and continued to perpetuate devastation. Ramona and
Matthew only kissed once. They were together a week and
half of the 7th grade before she told him to hit the road. The
way she ended their time together managed to keep him
strung on for years. Ninth grade brought on Lucas Lee, and she
only dated him until the minute Todd walked by. She
abandoned Lucas without a second thought for his feelings.
Then a week and half later, she dumped Todd at the concept
of having to do long distance while he was at Vegan Academy.
Ramona said her phase with Roxy meant nothing, and it took
apparently no effort to get the twins and all the rest to rally
together to destroy her and Scott.
Ending a relationship isn’t ever easy. As Ramona stated, “No
breakup is painless. Somebody always gets hurt.” While
breakups may not be painless, that doesn’t give us the
freedom to be callus or careless with people’s hearts. I’m not
telling you to keep toxic people around or to be in
relationships you don’t want to be in, but a little effort for
extra compassion can go a long way.
Paul makes this statement to the church in Rome:
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace
with everyone.” - Romans 12:18.
That applies to people on a regular, but it should also apply to
the people we once invested our hearts and lives into. Treating
people poorly and casually tossing people aside is not living at
peace with people. I’m not telling you to try and be friends
with your exes or bring them back into your life, but our
options really are limited, especially as Christians. Many people
run away or ignore their former relational problems much like
Ramona in her journey to get away from her relational
“I was hoping to just leave it all behind me. I came here
to escape, but the past keeps catching up. I'm tired of
people getting hurt because of me.” - Ramona
Running and ignoring the damage we’ve done doesn’t help,
and it’s far from godly. Jesus paints a picture for what this
looks like in any relationship, whether it be friendship or
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and
there remember that your brother or sister has
something against you, leave your gift there in front of
the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come
and offer your gift.” - Matthew 5:23-24.
Simply put, if you recognize someone has something against
you, whether you hurt them or they are just hurt by a
situation, you have a responsibility as a Christian to go and
make amends. At the very least, make an effort. If you make
an effort and they reject it, then that’s fine. You’ve done your
part. Think about how much more boring of a movie Scott
Pilgrim would have been if Ramona would have been gracious
in her breakups, or sometime in the years that followed she
sought her exes out to apologize for her behavior and make
amends. There’d be no one to fight but Gideon and the whole
story could fit on a Facebook video.
My dating past isn’t extensive. I had 3 girlfriends in middle
school (that barely counts), 1 girlfriend in high school, and 2
girlfriends within my college years. I broke up with 2 of my
middle school girlfriends; we’re still friends today. The one
who dumped me is still a friend as well. I dumped my high
school ex, yet a decade later she knew she could call me for
help when her world was falling apart on the other side of the
country. One of the college girlfriends I ended up officiating
her marriage, the other dumped me.
The one who dumped me was named Ashley. If I’m honest, she
was the only serious relationship outside of my wife. We met
when we were both 18, young, and foolish. I really did love her
though. Like, I loved her a lot. I had every intention and desire
to marry her one day, and even in our less than a year
relationship, we talked about it often. Our relationship started
taking some ugly turns, and I'm not blaming her for it. I was
immature, clingy, and it was my first time trying to adult.
Neither of us were at our best. Eventually, she broke up with
me, and full disclosure, I was full Knives Chau about it.
I was not over it for a very long time. I wasn’t mad or bitter. I
wasn’t about to challenge her new boyfriend in a fight to the
death or anything, but I was hurt over it ending. We parted
ways and went on about our lives. We both got married. We
both moved on, but low key, that ache was still lingering
Then 6 years later, she contacted me. It wasn’t to get back
together or anything scandalous. She wanted me to know the
place her heart was in. A song called, “I’m Not Who I Was” by
Brandon Heath came out and it really spoke to her heart. It
spoke to her so much so that she reached out to tell me that
song expressed her heart. She saw who she was then and her
shortcomings. She saw how it affected the outcome of our
relationship, and she wanted me to know she wasn’t that
person anymore. It seriously brought a new sense of healing in
my life just for her to reach out in that way.
Since then our families have become friends. Our kids have
had sleepovers. We’ve gone on family vacations together.
She’s been a constant friend in my adult life even though we
only dated for like for like 10 months over 18 years ago. What
caused that transition was her reaching out to bring a sense of
acknowledgement and reconciliation. Imagine if Ramona did
that? Even more so, imagine what it would be like for you to
do this for the people who are carrying a weight of hurt you
might have placed in their lives. I know this isn’t how
everyone’s story would play out, but it is how it played out in
mine, and my life is better because it did.
You Weren’t Wronged?
It is so easy to just root for Scott and Ramona getting together
and to look at Knives as simply just an obstacle in the path of
Scott and Romona’s relationship. The Bottom line though us
that Scott was in a relationship with Knives, and he came to
realize once he got a life and the power of self-respect, he
cheated on both of them. It all worked out in the end, sort of,
but it could have worked out a lot better if Scott had just been
honest. When he first thought he may be interested in
Ramona, he should have either ended it with Knives then or
stopped pursuing Ramona. The minute he ordered that
package from Amazon, he had already started the act of
It may seem like a small thing, but he built the entire
foundation of his relationship with Ramona on a lie, and he
based the entire end of his relationship with Knives on a lie.
That stuff matters. Jesus makes the statement in Luke that
proves that even the smallest bit of dishonesty carries a huge
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be
trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very
little will also be dishonest with much.” - Luke 16:10
I think the course of Scott and Ramona’s relationship was
corrected after the Gideon battle, but it could have been so
much healthier for everyone involved it they had just been
honest. Being deceptive about little details in relationships
shows that deep down, there is a big character flaw in that
person’s heart when it comes to integrity. That doesn’t mean
that the person can never be trusted, but unless a conscious
effort to change and restructure how they perceive and convey
honesty is made, you shouldn’t expect anything to be
We should be clear and honest when it comes to our feelings,
actions, choices, and intentions. Scott went to a lot of trouble
to cover up the truth about Ramona and Knives. Even in the
midst of their climactic battle, he still wasn’t totally up front
and clear. We need to be able to live where our words are
clear and honest with no questions or hidden intentions. Jesus
states, “But let your word ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’
Anything more than this is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).
There is wisdom in using your words wisely and at appropriate
times, but realistically, if you have to manipulate truth to
accomplish what you want to happen in a relationship, you
either need to not do what you are attempting to accomplish
or you not be in that relationship. We should always strive to
have total integrity with the people we are in relationships
with because, I promise, it’s better to be up front and
uncomfortable now then to deal with the consequences of
If you want the relationships you are in to have a future, like
with jetpacks, then remember these things: be intentional with
direction and purpose for your relationship, do damage control
for the pain your current and past relationships go through,
and be honest and open. Let your integrity be clear in how you
speak and act. This will help you to have to battle far less exes
to the death in order to have a satisfying love life.
Also, bread makes you fat.