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Old 06-28-2014, 10:33 PM
 
610 posts, read 2,746,063 times
Reputation: 786

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I'm officially "done" with Montana and I'm ready to leave this state. I came here due to a job transfer over a year ago. I've tried to adapt but I don't think this place is for me and here are my reasons why:

I'm a single male in my late twenties and the dating scene is horrible here. I know in most places it's not great but here in MT, if you are single, God help you! Most of the women I had tried to date fall into one of the following categories: married, divorced with multiple kids, have a boyfriend, too big for me, or too stuck up to even talk to me. It seems like most of the women here find their husband while they are in high school. If you don't get married after high school, the women here think something is wrong with you. It's the truth. I've come to the conclusion I will never find anyone to date here.

The weather here in the summer time is nice. Virtually no humidity or low humidity and the cool, breezy nights makes it ideal. However, the winter, which lasts like 7 months sucks. I can't stand when it's -20 with a wind chill. I hate sitting inside my house all winter because it's too cold to do anything. I'm not into skiing or sitting outside when it's cold. I hate it. I also hate driving to work in the ice and snow.

Food prices are through the roof. I'm not used to paying $3.90 for a box of macarroni or a box of spaghetti. I thought this place was part of the wheat belt?

Although I have met some nice, down to earth people, this place is cliquey. If you're not a native MT, good luck being accepted or treated as a decent person. The motto: "If you're not Norwegian, leave our region" holds true.

Let's face it. Montana is not really a progressive state. It's very, very anti-business and anti-growth. If I was starting a business, unless it was something with wheat harvesting, I wouldn't waste my time starting one here. I could get more bang for my buck somewhere else.

The cost of living here is relatively high and the wages employers pay are pathetic. Heck, some places in the South and Midwest pay higher wages than some employers in MT. And those places are generally cheaper.

Anyway, I'm sure some of you will say, if you don't like it, leave. Well, I would in a heartbeat but I have a decent government job with benefits. I don't want to just throw it away.

 
Old 06-28-2014, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Idaho
4,549 posts, read 4,378,105 times
Reputation: 8823
Look on the bright side. You could be stuck in Detroit.

Sorry you can't make any meaningful, fulfilling connections. It took me three visits to a small town about a half-hour's drive from Bozeman and I feel the people in the church I attend there have accepted me totally and completely. They feed me, let me stay with them during visits, and include me in all of their activities. They have welcomed me so much into their "family" that I am considering moving there when I retire in three years.

p.s. It does get a little chilly at time. Hint: get out of the wind.
 
Old 06-29-2014, 02:25 PM
 
Location: 406
1,423 posts, read 1,532,421 times
Reputation: 1407
@heeha:

I'm sorry to see that your time in Helena hasn't been, shall we say, fulfilling. I love the town personally, but if you dropped me there in a similar situation to yours--as a single twenty-something with no ties to the area--I could very well have similar complaints.

Helena isn't a very big town, as you know. Despite my own affections for the place, I can't deny that cliquishness and its sometimes complementary snobbishness are facts of life there, and it can't be expected that such factors won't trickle into the dating scene. You have my sympathy.

[WARNING: NECESSARY POLITICAL RANT BELOW]

I was a little disturbed to see that recent data from Gallup showed Montana to have edged its way into the top ten most conservative states in the country, and this has occurred, I would theorize, in large part due to the influx of retiring baby-boomers and suburban refugees who've been enticed by Montana's rural appeal. Much like the situation over in Idaho, most in-migration may actually be pulling the state further to the right than it ever has been (I find it hard to believe that Montana possesses a conservatism necessarily equal to that of its neighbors, however).

And this state has always had a conservative bend, mind you, but it also has a history of fiercely anti-business laws and practices linked to the popularity of "anti-big-business" progressivism (and outright Marxism in certain instances/places) that became very popular here throughout the early 20th century due to the industrial power structure that once exercised near total control of the state. The anti-industry residue is still in the air, and it can become all the more stifling when conjoined with prudishly conservative social attitudes or, even worse, modern environmentalism. A combination of the three is most toxic.

One good thing about Montana's politics is that they've tended to be very pragmatic over the years, though. I don't think we've lost that completely (yet), and I would say that there have been excellent policy outcomes that have been both progressive and libertarian in nature over the last 20 years (even if the legislature or judiciary manages to destroy them at some point after the fact).

It's a big place. Yes, pretty much wherever you land in this state, there will be the same systemic problems, but there are places, maybe like, say, Bozeman and Billings, where growth and change tend to be favored over self-inflicted stagnation and mediocrity. I've been impressed to discover the ways in which young people/business owners are beginning to mobilize and advocate for their economic interests around here, even in a few of the seemingly hopeless towns in the state's Western third. It's promising, but there's still such a long way to go, and some of the obstacles will be huge (but not impassable).

Point being, you might find it easier to live amongst these types of people (many of whom are transplants as well), that is if you consider Montana at all attractive for other reasons despite your distaste for Helena.

Look, I don't want to encourage you to leave--you're a young person with, I presume, an education, as well as an apparent outlook that's accepting of growth and development. We need you here; in fact, we need a million more of you here.

If your job leaves you the room to do so, consider taking a look around--that I will encourage you to do. You're employed in the public sector, I notice. There should be plenty of opportunities for you all over the place, perhaps even with somewhat more preferable weather patterns and better female quality. Trust me, it can happen.

Good luck whatever you should decide, and thank you for starting this thread. The endless aggrandizement of Montana and the dismissal of its problems is long overdue for some interruption.
 
Old 06-29-2014, 06:25 PM
 
4,616 posts, read 3,937,356 times
Reputation: 9682
If you don't have winter activities that you enjoy, winter in Montana would be very undesirable. Maybe something like taking up photography would give you reason to bundle up and enjoy some winter days.

As far as creating dating opportunities---get involved with clubs for your hobbies, take a college class, the Y, community gardens, & volunteer somewhere.

The Norwegian comment made me laugh & think you were living in a Hi-Line town. I personally know few Montana folks of Norwegian descent.
 
Old 06-29-2014, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,813 posts, read 15,395,300 times
Reputation: 12062
Sorry for your experience. I'm good in Montana, but I've been married 25 years. Moved here from WV 4 years ago and have never been happier. I have good friends and am involved in Scouting so I think that helps

You need to go where you feel comfortable. Montana is like wearing an old shirt for me.
 
Old 06-30-2014, 09:53 AM
 
281 posts, read 725,543 times
Reputation: 297
Montana is not for everyone, OP. If you're not a native, it can be rough to carve out your niche here. Yes, it's tough to fit in and meet others. The the way I see it, there is a place for everyone. I hope you find your place. Good luck to you.
 
Old 06-30-2014, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,877 posts, read 5,748,145 times
Reputation: 8233
Just out of curiosity, I looked at several of your posts in your history Heeha, it really seems you aren't too happy with much of anything.

You really need to find something you like as it appears you are really at loose ends.

It seems that you are looking for a purpose, you need to really sit down and evaluate what you want out of life and where you want to be.

Montana isn't for everybody. It can be a tough place to live. I grew up here and I understand your situation with dating as I went through it too.
I also live in the Helena area, but I stay out of the gulch and bar scene.

Life here is what you make of it. You can bellyache about what isn't here, or enjoy what is, and if you don't like what is here, you need to go where you can find what you like.

Good Luck.
 
Old 07-04-2014, 08:48 PM
 
9,473 posts, read 5,866,137 times
Reputation: 2162
Quote:
Originally Posted by heeha View Post
I'm officially "done" with Montana and I'm ready to leave this state. I came here due to a job transfer over a year ago. I've tried to adapt but I don't think this place is for me and here are my reasons why:

I'm a single male in my late twenties and the dating scene is horrible here. I know in most places it's not great but here in MT, if you are single, God help you! Most of the women I had tried to date fall into one of the following categories: married, divorced with multiple kids, have a boyfriend, too big for me, or too stuck up to even talk to me. It seems like most of the women here find their husband while they are in high school. If you don't get married after high school, the women here think something is wrong with you. It's the truth. I've come to the conclusion I will never find anyone to date here.

The weather here in the summer time is nice. Virtually no humidity or low humidity and the cool, breezy nights makes it ideal. However, the winter, which lasts like 7 months sucks. I can't stand when it's -20 with a wind chill. I hate sitting inside my house all winter because it's too cold to do anything. I'm not into skiing or sitting outside when it's cold. I hate it. I also hate driving to work in the ice and snow.

Food prices are through the roof. I'm not used to paying $3.90 for a box of macarroni or a box of spaghetti. I thought this place was part of the wheat belt?

Although I have met some nice, down to earth people, this place is cliquey. If you're not a native MT, good luck being accepted or treated as a decent person. The motto: "If you're not Norwegian, leave our region" holds true.

Let's face it. Montana is not really a progressive state. It's very, very anti-business and anti-growth. If I was starting a business, unless it was something with wheat harvesting, I wouldn't waste my time starting one here. I could get more bang for my buck somewhere else.

The cost of living here is relatively high and the wages employers pay are pathetic. Heck, some places in the South and Midwest pay higher wages than some employers in MT. And those places are generally cheaper.

Anyway, I'm sure some of you will say, if you don't like it, leave. Well, I would in a heartbeat but I have a decent government job with benefits. I don't want to just throw it away.
Well... You moved from the surburbs, didn't you?

Your complaint has nothing to do with Montana, it has to do with urban vs rural cultural difference.

Rural lifestyle is vastly different. There is no "dating scene", nobody knows that that is. You meet people where people are... work, church, school. Nobody has money for "social gathering spots". And even if they did, they likely would not spend it that way.

People form their permanent relationships young. It's only the rare person who chases a career and waits until they are in their mid to late 20's to look for that other half. You start your life together younger and work through whatever it is your future plans are - together.

Pay is low because there's simply no way to pay more. Most employers struggle to pay what they do. The economy is based on production of value - not the accumulation of money - like the cities often do. And there's not that much value in the production of lumber, beef, or in mining. And even if there is, the costs are high. Everyone has to bust their backsides for every cent they earn. It comes dearly and it's spent just as dearly.

Yes, people seem "clique-ish". Some are. Many simply don't have room in their lives for people who just consume their time. They struggle to maintain long or old friendships when they have the chance to associate only from time to time. Leisure time is limited, and money for leisure that costs is in even less supply.

And these things are true, no matter WHAT part of rural America you go to.

So, if you can't live in an environment like this, or it's miserable, leave. Don't cling to a job with benefits and be miserable. It isn't going to change, because it's a product of being a producer society, not a rent-seeking society, meaning the wealth has to be produced in order for there to be any. Other places accumulate or profit off the wealth created by those in places like this and money is 'easy' by comparison.

On the other hand, I lived in cities and in far reaches of "middle of nowhere", and after experiencing both, I'll choose the rural life every day of my entire life. I detest the phony, plastic, painted on society of the city. I detest the endless rush of anonymous people who care nothing but for their next dollar and promotion and climbing the social ladder. Those people who scrape long and hard for every dollar... are often vastly more generous than those who have much. I was once a 21 year old, living on my own in Phoenix. And I wanted nothing more than to head back to the wilds of rural NW Montana. I would have moved back many times since then, but there was no way to earn a living there and afford to raise my family.

Now, they're adults, oldest are your age, and they would probably think like you. So much more the loss...

I'm in a Chicago suburb now, and I can barely stand that I have 4-5 years more of this urban hell. But if you love this culture, move to it. I did learn one lesson... Doing something you dislike, or living where you don't like, merely for money, is absolutely NOT a viable lifestyle.
 
Old 07-05-2014, 09:13 PM
 
610 posts, read 2,746,063 times
Reputation: 786
Let me clarify some things:

I personally do not like big cities and I'm not looking to move to Chicago, LA, Seattle, etc. I can only tolerate cities that have populations of less than 150K.

MTSilvetip, you are correct. I don't have any direction in my life, which isn't a good thing. It's difficult for me to figure out where I want to go in life. I'm not blaming it on Montana but I just hate coming home from work and having nothing to do or anyone to talk to. I sometimes have to drive to Canada just to eat at a decent restaurant or met new people, which gets expensive and tiring.

I know life isn't about money, but if I quit my job, then I will have more stress. With the way unemployment is in this country, I then have to worry about finding a new job.
 
Old 07-05-2014, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,813 posts, read 15,395,300 times
Reputation: 12062
Life is what you make of it man, plain and simple. You are in a great state with a lot to do. You may not have world class restaurants in your backyard, but you know what? I lived inside the Beltway in D.C. for a long time and you know how many times I went to places like that? Maybe twice a year. Museums and culture everywhere- you know how many times I went to the Smithsonian? The Hirschhorn? Air and Space? Maybe twice in my life, usually on field trips in school.

Funny they were accessible but we never went.

Now? If I travel back to D.C. on business I make it a point to go to a restaurant I always wanted to try but never did. When I travel to Bozeman I try to make a trip to the museum. It makes it worthwhile being farther away. That's just my observation.

I've also grown fond of the simpler things in life- like a good cup of bean soup and fresh bread on a cold day at some mom and pop eatery. It feels better than a $75 dinner in most upscale joints.

However in the end you have to do what makes you happy. Staying for a job is not the answer. But maybe if you take it all in perspective you'll find happiness is all around you but haven't noticed it yet.
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