Manipulation is an art of varying degrees. It is not something learned in school or self-taught, but an in-born quality that seems to manifest itself during a child's formative years. Somehow, children figure out at a young age a way to sneak-attack a parent into trying to get that new toy or that cookie before dinner. The real problem is the fork in the road with these tactics. Road A and B both lead to adulthood for these children and how they will treat other adults in handling a situation when trying to get what they want.
Men. Key players in the manipulation game, especially when it comes to dating and relationships. Or at least allowing you to believe you are in a relationship when in reality they are giving you the perception of one just to get what they want. Simply stated, they are feeding their veggies to the dog under the table so they can get their dessert. It is still typical behavior of a child; it appears they are doing what is needed and required, all the while doing the bare minimum and cheating just to get there.
Women. Key players in the receiving end of the manipulation game just to satisfy the temporary feeling of loneliness. Sometimes in order to become a part of something, there is a way of succumbing to the unreality of it all. It becomes easier to just be happy in the moment then to analyze whether it seems all right or all wrong. You choose to be handicapped in the situation, be caught up in your own personal dream, rather than see through the clouds.
Real relationships are built on eating all your veggies, even the spinach. You can't skip to the dessert and pretend the main course doesn't exist. Parents, do not allow your children to always take road A without at least visiting road B on occasion. Negotiation is different then manipulation and productive individuals need to know the difference even at a young age. Otherwise you end up in a three year relationship with the same discussions every year as the first.