During a conversation that I had earlier this week, someone said to me that there’s a fine line between strategy and manipulation and we cross that line all the time. It really made me think about all the times that we do things that would normally be characterized as manipulative but are actually strategic. Therapists do this all the time with clients. The thing is that the difference between being manipulative and being strategic is that when you’re strategic you have the other person’s well being as a priority. Being manipulative is more self serving. This automatically made me think of all the times that people have manipulated situations or people for the sake of getting or appearing good to a potential significant other. Some might argue that these actions are more strategic than manipulative. I think that they can go either way. If you’re sincerely convinced that your presence in the daily life of your potential significant other will enhance or benefit them in some way, you’re more on the strategic end of the fine line. In no way am I advocating for stalking and not taking “no” for an answer, but we have to realize that there are times we have to strategize in order to get an actual chance. Sometimes you just have to know what end result you want and strategize backwards in order to get it because it’s the only plausible option. Because the line between manipulation and strategy can be so blurred, examining your motives can be one of the only ways you can know what side of the fence you’re on.