Relationship and behaviour expert Dr Pam Spurr reveals the thoughts that race through a woman's mind when she catches her partner gazing at another woman.
Let's face it, men's eyes wander. It's human nature to notice others particularly attractive ones.
Consider our evolutionary biology: mate selection is initially based on first impressions of physical attributes. From these attributes you quickly clock whether someone's healthy and fit to mate with.
I'm sure you can feel the 'but' coming on, can't you? But the problem is there's a massive difference between a sly glance at an attractive woman and a bad case of wandering or AWOL eyes.
Come on, we all know you look at foxy females when we're not with you. But we think quite rightly you should only have eyes for us when together.
Prepare for ballistic reactions
When you forget yourself, letting your look linger a touch too long where it shouldn't, watch out. I remember the photos of Geri Halliwell's boyfriend Henry Beckwith where he couldn't stop himself eyeing-up a beach beauty. Geri went ballistic and rightly so it's just plain bad manners and worse.
You might think a look doesn't justify fireworks. But if you want to know what your girlfriend's thinking when you dare make this mistake, think of Geri's rant. Women are infuriated by this behaviour.
We're comparing ourselves to her
We immediately compare ourselves to the girl that's caught your eye. Our thinking is along the lines of "what has she got that I haven't?" If the comparison isn't completely favourable in our direction you're in trouble... big style.
So heaven help you when she's attractive. Because then our thinking runs wild. The problem lies with this fact that we always compare ourselves to other women.
We hate doing it and know we shouldn't, but regardless we start thinking how we stack-up to female friends and colleagues etc. Meaning we don't want to feel added pressure to make even more of these comparisons because you couldn't keep your eyes under control for a nano-second.
If you happen to have an insecure girlfriend (sadly, all too common) she'll take it to the next level. She'll think you're fantasising about that woman, you want to chat her up, marry her... I know, a bit crazy.
You're now entering dangerous territory. You may be savvy enough to know a lingering look doesn't mean any such thing but if her confidence is low she'll think the worst.
That said, occasionally a woman won't be fazed when your eyes roam. Unfortunately, she's a fairly rare creature supremely confident and understanding she knows it doesn't threaten her when an attractive woman's around.
And luckily for you if we clock that actually the woman you're checking out isn't 'all that' we'll quickly calm down, accepting you're just being a bit of 'a boy' noticing some random woman.
What to do if you're caught out with a bad case of AWOL eyes?
Here are five thoughts to see you through:
Doh! You've gone and done it you can try to blag your way out of it if you're good at lying by claiming you were looking at something else in her direction. "I didn't even notice that woman," you protest. If you're that good of a liar to get away with this ploy though, I'm a bit worried about you.
A compromise is to fib a little bit. Own up to having noticed her but immediately swear she's not a patch on your girlfriend. This can be a close call you might be believed, or maybe you won't.
If you're feeling brave take the honesty route, confess you noticed "that woman", apologise for the lingering look, and then leave it at that. Honesty doesn't mean making a big deal out of 'fessing-up just how hot she was.
Phew, the worst's out of the way. Learn this lesson: if you clock a gorgeous girl from the corner of your eye an internal alarm should sound. Avert your stare immediately. Instead look at your girlfriend and ask her a quick question to keep you focused on her.
The danger has passed and you can breathe a sigh of relief. You'll soon find that you only have eyes for your partner... with maybe a crafty, quick glance at that other woman too it is, after all, only human nature.