• Faith & Fandom

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


high schooler.”


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

human being.

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

simple.

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

baggage.

“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

family.

“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

around.

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

cheating.

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

weight.

“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

different.

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

deception.

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.

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