It appeared to be the start of a perfect evening as Ian and Jen, married for 11 years, entered a restaurant. Ian was expecting to have a romantic night out on the town, but Jen was expecting something different.
What Ian didn't know was that he was part of an ABC News hidden camera experiment. Previous experiments showed what happened when cute waitresses, actors hired by ABC, put the moves on three men out with their significant others.
This time, ABC News turned the tables on the men to find out how they would react if a hunky waiter flirted with their girlfriends or wives.
Jen and Ian were the first test couple.
The suave waiter named Jake began by pointing to Jen's necklace and telling her it was beautiful.
In general, we expected the men to take longer to notice the flirtation -- but Ian's reaction was almost instantaneous and he pondered aloud, "Is that guy hitting on my wife?"
Just to make sure Ian knew it, Jake fawned over Jen. He told her to enjoy her wine, said the wine mirrored her necklace and told her that he'd be back.
Noticing that Jake wasn't paying any attention to him, Ian commented that he felt like he was part of a social experiment. Jen, who was in on the prank, agreed the situation was weird.
At one point Ian said he felt like John Quinones was going to pop out and say: "Hey! How do you feel … when you were given no attention?"
But Jake continued to pay lots of attention to Ian's wife. He told her that he thought she looked like Deborah Winger and that her eyes were radiant.
She thanked him.
Jake told Ian and Jen that they were a good couple and that he'd be back with their entrees.
Jen giggled. Ian took a big gulp of wine and told her Jake was fawning over her. At this point, Ian had taken off his wedding ring and was twirling it around in his hands.
We asked Donna Barnes, a life and relationship coach why he had chosen to remove his ring. "You know, that's a really very interesting body language," she said. "That ring came off as soon as he started feeling uncomfortable with her possibly flirting with some other man. Almost like, you know, 'geez, did I make a bad decision here?'"
Even though she was in on the experiment, Jen had some body language of her own: She unconsciously fastened the top button of her blouse. But our waiter upped the ante. He asked Ian how he had gotten such a beautiful woman and whether they were married.
They both answered they had been married for 11 years. Jake told Ian he was a lucky guy. Ian then joked that he would rent her out. But Jake said he probably couldn't afford her.
Barnes said that was an attempt at humor by Ian, but that it fell very flat and held a message to his wife.
Jen told her husband she thought it was nice that Jake thought she was cute. At that point we decided to come clean with Ian. As John Quinones and his camera crew turned the corner, Ian said "I knew that was coming, man!"
Jen told us that she thought Ian was more annoyed than jealous. "I knew he would stew. And it would take a lot to really get him mad."
With each of our male participants we were worried that things could get out of hand. We even made sure to have an off-duty police officer stationed seconds away from the couples. The atmosphere remained civil, however, and the police officer was never summoned.
Lara and Richard
How would Richard, a CEO, react when our waiter put the moves on his girlfriend, Lara?
Our actor-waiter, Tyler, began by telling Lara she looked familiar. He speculated that maybe they had hooked up at one time, and they all laughed nervously. Richard and Lara had only been dating for a short time.
Richard immediately took the warpath and asked Lara if she thought Tyler was purposely trying to be a wise-ass. "Maybe we hooked up?" he said, incredulously. "I can't believe he said that!"
Richard stood hard on the heels of anger, with just a little bit of doubt. Richard asked if Lara knew the waiter.
Barnes explained, "When you first start dating somebody, there's only so much you're really supposed to reveal about your past … for all he knows she did hook up with this guy just recently. And maybe now he's jealous that now she's out with another guy. He doesn't know. And maybe he doesn't want to ask that."
Richard began to get more heated. He said he thought Tyler was intentionally messing with him. He wondered what he was supposed to say.
Soon he and Lara kissed and held hands. According to our expert, Lara used her body language to show Richard she really wanted to be with him. So our waiter decided to take it one step further. He dropped off his number and told Lara the next time she was at the Jersey shore they should hang out. Lara agreed. Richard glared and had enough. He took the number from Lara and put it in his pocket.
At this point, we worried about what Richard might do to our waiter. He told Lara he thought she loved the attention. Lara tried to reassure him and told him she liked his attention.
At this point, we decided to move in. Richard seemed surprised when John Quinones appeared with his camera crews. Lara told us she wasn't worried that Richard might get violent.
"He's not a violent guy," she said. Richard agreed.
"He was -- he was getting close, he was getting close," Richard said. "I was, uh, but, but, uh, wh--, what am I gonna do? I'm in a restaurant setting. I mean, what, am I gonna swing on this guy?"