there really aren't that many physically active people in the state, if you have not noticed yet, so its hard to find people who do actually work out, let alone lead active lives. I lift, but nothing too serious, as there aren't many who do. Bigger cities will have more obviously, but still, very hard to find people, but good luck looking, you'll find someone i'm sure!
Dude, I am always looking to find a lifting/gym partner! Some guys hate the idea because it "slows them down". Personally, I think it would be great to collaborate with someone and learn new techniques in the gym. Not to mention it is a great motivational booster. As far as lifting goes I am a novice and pushing myself to new limits every time I lift.
However, as mentioned previously - NC is relatively sedentary as compared to other areas (with bigger metro areas). I go to Peak Fitness (relatively cheap and many locations - yet slowly going out of business). Raleigh predominantly has Gold's Gym (more expensive) and Planet Fitness (cheaper). Not 100% sure what your neck of the woods has to offer.