“It definitely took a toll and I felt like a failure but I learned a lot,” Leah, 30, exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, August 14. “But reflecting on the relationship and even the breakup, I realized it was really a blessing in disguise, and I needed it. I needed to learn to trust my own intuition when something maybe doesn’t feel right or just isn’t working out.”
“While the last year has been tremendously exciting for both of us, we’ve realized that it’s best we walk separate paths,” the former couple told Us in a statement in October 2022. “We are so grateful for the lessons, growth, and memories we’ve had in this relationship. So many of you have watched our love story unfold, and we hope that you’ll continue to watch our stories while we move forward as friends.”
They added: “We will forever have love and respect for each other, and we ask for privacy as we refocus and transition out of this chapter together.”
While the duo claim to be on good terms following their split, Leah — who shares twins Ali and Aleeah, 12, with ex-husband Corey Simms, and daughter Adalynn, 9, with ex-husband Jeremy Calvert — alleged during a July episode of Teen Mom: The Next Chapter that Jaylan had “duped” her when he proposed by gifting her a fake house deed. She has since put her feelings about Jaylan “in the past” as she tries to “move forward.”
“I took some time for myself to rebuild my confidence and self-esteem after that breakup and that relationship because I definitely took a hit from it,” she told Us. “But, overall, I mean, it’s fine [and] we’re in a great place. We’re cordial, we get along, and I think you’ll see that. You’ll see that in the season.”
Leah’s daughters, meanwhile, had their own bond with Jaylan and have also had to grieve the breakup. “I think given the circumstances, honestly, the entire time during our relationship, it wasn’t traumatic at all,” she said. “So there was nothing really traumatic [about the split]. I mean, at the end, we just accept that not all of us are in a place to pursue a committed relationship. And that’s OK. … My kids are fine with it. I think at first it was like, ‘OK,’ and then, I mean, we’re fine. We’re happy, we’re healthy, and that’s all that matters.”
The pair’s split was featured on last season of Teen Mom 2, and will continue to play out on the latest batch of episodes. For Leah, it’s been difficult to rewatch the drama as it airs.
“It was definitely challenging at the beginning, but I think we’ve moved forward and we’re in great places,” Leah told Us on Monday. “We both are and, in my case, I’m happy. And we’re just moving forward.”
While the MTV personality noted that it’s been “hard” to get her groove back, she isn’t quite ready to start dating again. “I say that I give everyone the benefit of the doubt until you prove me wrong. I think my circle is extremely important to me — my circle meaning me and my children — so who I allow in, I want to choose wisely about that,” she added. “But we’re growing and we’re learning and we make mistakes and we keep going.”
Teen Mom: The Next Chapter airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi