Close friend is having sex for money

Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR AMY: I am a 22-year-old woman, and I'm having issues with a friend. She and I have been very close friends for half of our lives, but as time goes on she is changing. I can't figure out if I should start to keep my distance from her because I really don't like her new "career." She has found herself doing extreme (sexual) things with guys she doesn't know -- for money. I don't condone any of these decisions she's making. I worry about her so much. I value myself as a person, and I see that she's devaluing her worth. I love her like a sister, but I hate her choices. I don't feel I can be around this any longer. I have to worry about myself to get my own life together. She gets defensive and says she doesn't give a "bleep." She's kind of like an alcoholic who is in denial. What should I say to her? Should I say anything at all? Should I just keep my distance?

--Worried Friend

DEAR WORRIED: Your friend's denial protects her from the reality of her frightening and potentially dangerous choices.

You should express your love and concern for her, carefully and consistently.

Tell her: "I'm so worried about you. I wish you would get help to make different choices." She might be struggling with addiction issues; if so, she has a challenging road ahead.

Sadly, you cannot save her; you can only support healthy choices while keeping your distance from the rest. It can be extremely challenging to detach from a loved one's choices while still caring about her.

However, you need to realize that this burden -- being honest, kind and loving while not becoming overly involved -- is one you are strong enough to handle.

You are absolutely correct that your first responsibility is to yourself. You must get and keep your own life together. That will be your best and most important gift to others.