The Friendship Doctor

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My Home Away from Home: Making Friends in Maine

Mainer's tend to be reserved by nature, don't take that as unfriendliness.

There are challenges in making and keeping friends in two geographical locations simultaneously but they can be overcome if you set your mind to it.

QUESTION

 

Dear Irene,

I am spending five months in Maine, which is new to me. I don't have much to do there or to get involved in. The seven months I spend in Florida are very different with lots of activities. I need help on how to make friends in Maine.

Signed,

Allison

 

ANSWER

Dear Allison,

Most people would think that you are fortunate to be able to split your time between two nice places and take advantage of the best of the seasons at each. Yet, moving back and forth can take a toll on friendships at both ends.

It sounds like you've been able to make friends in Florida and it may be easier to do there for several reasons: You have been there longer, the weather facilitates going outdoors, and many retirees live around you who are free from work responsibilities and thus, tend to be more sociable. 

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Coincidentally, my friend Hilary Nangle is a travel writer, who calls herself the "Maine Travel Maven." Hilary is like an encyclopedia on what to do in Maine and has written three books on the state (Moon Coastal MaineMoon Acadia National Parkand Moon Maine). I posed your dilemma to Hilary and these are her thoughts: 

Great ways to meet others in Maine, especially during the warmer months, are by: shopping at local farmers markets; volunteering at local museums or library; taking part in outdoor-oriented activities such as garden clubs, paddling or walking groups, and land trust programs; attending concerts, festivals, and talks. All the standard ways apply, too: knitting/quilting groups, book clubs, exercise programs, etc. 

Mainer's tend to be reserved by nature, but don't take that as unfriendliness. Just give them time to warm up to you.  

Since you have a long season in Maine, why don't you try some of Hilary's suggestions, which sound solid to me? You might also want to pick up a copy of her book and begin to explore the nooks and crannies where friendly people in Maine tend to hide out. J

My best,

Irene

 

Have a friendship problem or quandary? Ask The Friendship Doctor or visit the forums on The Friendship Blog.

Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., is a psychologist and professor of psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine. Her latest book is Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend.

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