In our second part of the Guy Panel series, the guys grapple with their emotions, their pasts, and their love lives! See what Craig (23/Black/Straight), Scott (34/White/Straight), and Poncho* (30/Hispanic/Gay, pseudonym given for anonymity) had to say below.
1. How would you characterize your middle school experience?
Craig: I turned from the quiet nice kid to a huge badass. I had a staggered schedule for introducing a new bad word and I got lunch detention once. We also tried the Glee version of Don’t Stop Believing in public, so it was a mixed bag.
Scott: I enjoyed my middle school experience as I really began to start forming my identity and independence during that stage. I am fortunate that I had great parents and siblings, as well as a really good group of friends, that really demonstrated and taught me strong values that took shape during those formative years. Still, looking back, there were plenty of moments that I was being immature, saying things or acting in ways to be “cool” where I should have made better choices.
Poncho: It was normal. I went to private school, so I think I had it better than my public-school peers. I remember being very insecure though.
2. When someone comes to you feeling sad, how do you comfort them?
Craig: I try to listen. I’m terrible with my emotions, so I basically listen to them and throw in a “that’s crazy” when I’m unable to get more emotional. But I’m also good for the “depth of sadness” jokes, so that helps.
Scott: I try to take my cues from them, and there are usually two ways I find myself comforting someone who is sad. The first is to listen and understand their feelings if it is something that they want to share/talk about. If they are not in the sharing mood, I usually try to be present and maybe get their attention/mind on something else. I think that I can bring some levity and joy to those moments.
Poncho: I mostly just listen to them. That is all they need in most cases.
3. Is life more fun when you are single or in a relationship?
Craig: Depends on the relationship. Being wild and romantically available to the world is an aesthetic. Being wild and not caring about romantic interactions outside of your relationship is a vibe. But I’m currently having a lot of fun in my relationship. Although, theoretically, I might have more fun if I was single. But if I have less fun, I would want to get back together immediately. A risky gambit. Let’s see if it pays off.
Scott: As someone who was single for a very large chunk of his life, I will say that it is much more fun to be in a healthy relationship. I am fortunate to have found someone that just enhances every part of my life and I would like to think I do the same for them. Sure, there might be activities and events that you can have just as much fun whether single or in a relationship, but it is those in-between moments where you just have silly, nonsensical fun with someone you care deeply about that is really memorable.
Poncho: Life is as fun as you want to make it. It is very true what they say about learning to love and enjoy yourself before loving and enjoying a significant other. If you do that, you will have fun either way.
4. What is the most romantic thing you have ever done?
Craig: I can’t say that I’ve gotten into the gesture phase of my current relationship because we’re consistently happy, so the need to be extra hasn’t come up. And in case she sees this, I don’t want to flaunt how good a boyfriend that I used to be. Early on, I made us do a fake wedding when we were both wasted because I fell in love with her and that was only way I could get that across. Actually, that’s for sure the most romantic I’ve ever been in terms of how meaningful it was to me. Love that girl. I was so drunk.
Scott: Proposing! I don’t need to go into all the details, but I think letting someone know that you want to choose them every day as the person to face life’s ups and downs with is a pretty romantic act.
Poncho: I do not want you to fall in love with me, so I will not tell!
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