Dear Dr Date,I am …

Dear Dr Date,
I am 20 years old and afraid of sex. And it is not because I fear pregnancy or STDs. It is because I don’t like what it has done to my friends. After their first sexual experiences, one by one my friends started acting cold toward me. One of them handed me the “you’re still a virgin, not an adult, so you’re a child and don’t understand” line, but I don’t buy that. This same person does stupid childish things like spending his rent money on video games — then calling Daddy for more — and is hardly more of an adult than I am. They stopped inviting me to their parties, or at least the few they had because they spent most of their time with their boyfriends or girlfriends.
The person I considered my best friend said she was having a hard time making ends meet and asked me to pay half the cost of a small birthday gift, but is giving her lover a $100 piece of silver jewelry for his birthday. The really strange thing is that I’ve told them this hurts me, but they consider their behavior to be normal. I don’t understand why people I helped through hard times and laughed with at parties now see a sexual relationship as a legitimate reason to treat loyal friends — as opposed to a lover who might not be there the next morning — with so little respect. I don’t see how they can say sex makes them more of an adult when they aren’t responsible enough to be able to move out of their parents’ home. I want to know what the big deal is, but I’m afraid of becoming cold like them. Why are they acting this way, and do I have a right to complain?
— Three’s a crowd
Yeah, life pretty much sucks in this respect. The sad part is that it will most likely get worse. Sex is just the beginning. The same thing happens when people graduate, get a full-time job, get married, buy a house and have children. These changes in life cannot help but change the person, too. It’s ironic because we look forward to these changes so much that we don’t even notice how it changes us.
Luckily, you don’t have to live the standard life that everyone else follows. There’s a lot to be said for sex and all those other transitions, but keep a watchful eye on who you are. It’s dangerous to erase your past, but it’s also dangerous not to move forward. There are good times ahead — possibly better than where you are right now. Make sure you don’t miss out on all the fun and make sure you do it your way.