Seductive Withholders (SW’s) are people who can act very seductive one moment (implying they are available), and then very withholding the next. The shift is dramatic and comes at unexpected times.

Every SW has his or her own style of seduction, but it usually quite persuasive and tied into your personal needs which is revealed early on while dating. The withholding can be anything from holding back affection, not returning phone calls, or seeing other people–in general, it means being unavailable.

There are various explanations for why people withhold. With some, it is a matter of control. This is ego-driven. They like power over people and they do this by keeping them on the edge of their seats all the time.

More common is the person who withholds because they are frightened of intimacy. When they are feeling needy and safe they get seductive. When they get too close and feel claustrophobic they withhold. A good book about this is by Carter and Sokul entitled “Men Who Can’t Love.” (The title is misleading. SW’s can love they just can’t get emotionally intimate.) SW’s are also people (as we discussed) who are on the rebound. They really can’t make up their mind. The people are not SW’s with everyone they meet–like the other type of SW mentioned above.

If you want to avoid a SW then don’t fall in love before you have gotten to know someone.
Watch them closely and look for patterns of seduction and withholding
If a pattern persists get out of the relationship quickly
Do not tell yourself this is your imagination.
Don’t second guess yourself.
Don’t give this person a third and fourth chance
Don’t believe their lies
Believe that you can do better.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW is a Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of the award-winning book The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse. You can take her quiz to find out if you are co-dependent or sign up for a 30-minute strategy session with Sherry. Check out Sherry’s new book “Love Smacked: How to Stop the Cycle of Relationship Addiction and Codependency to Find Everlasting Love”.