My friend whom I’ve known since I was in elementary school, is always somehow grabbing onto everything I have or copying everything I do two decades later. I’ll get a new dress and she’ll admire it, and the next time I see her, she’s wearing one just like it. The same color even! And now I’m dating someone. I’ve been seeing him for a few months and am just dreading introducing her to him because she always flirts with my boyfriends even though she says she doesn’t.

–Incredibly Irritated (United States)


Although I can see the irritation factor in this situation, be amused and know that underneath it all is pure admiration of you—your style, your choices, etc. No matter what she copies, she can never truly take anything away from you because it is truly yours. I imagine you’ve probably had some conversations with her about this and you might want to try again. I suspect, though, that’s one of the dynamics you’ll just have to put up with as long as you’re friends. If everything else is good between you, you will have to decide if you want to give it up over this issue or reset the energy of the imitation game to amusement and enjoy the friendship between you. Validate yourself as a true original.

As far as flirting with your boyfriends, do you trust him to be true to you? If so, know that her flirting with him does not and cannot take anything away from you.

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