In the past 10 years that we’ve lived in Minnesota, I have struggled to make friends. The majority are all through my husband and time and time again I’ve heard how hard it can be to make friends in this state when you’re an outsider. It’s all true. This little saying? “Minnesotans will give you directions anywhere except their own house.” It’s totally true, and disheartening. I learned semi-quickly that when a Minnesotan says, “We should get together!” or etc. they don’t always actually mean that. Quite often they’re just saying it…. Surprise! While I might have an easier time if I wasn’t a full-time working mom, I struggled when we originally moved here and then became distracted with other things. Then things settled down, the kids got older and once again I knew I needed to make my own friends that weren’t all inherited from my significant other.
However… judging from various articles, Reddit threads, you name it… it seems like it will not get easier anytime soon and that I should expect it to take years before I can expect to be welcomed into a pre-existing group. Seriously? Really? Even though we got along great and have lots in common?? I’m beginning to think moving back west sooner rather than later is a more attractive idea. I don’t think I can handle the extra added stress of basically trying to ace an interview every interaction in the hopes I’ll be accepted into a group. Of course friendships take time, I just didn’t realize it would take years to get out of the “acquaintance” category. I’m probably better off trying to find other people who are not from here either. Or, I guess there is always the option of moving to a friendlier, more open city, which is definitely something I’ve been thinking of lately. I used to be worried about the kids adjusting, but I’m sure they’d be okay and maybe an adventure in the next few years is just what we need.
All this to say… don’t be so hard on outsiders. You know, some are pretty nice and worth getting to know. Who knows, you could even end up with a lifelong friend.
Not all Minnesotans are this way, of course. I have met Minnesotans who are not just friends with a small clique that they probably grew up with, or if they are still friends with that same group, they still manage to open their arms to someone new and allow them to leave the ranks of semi-acquaintance fairly quickly. These people are rare and fantastic finds.