Food Truck Date #7: Tempering Expectations, LOGISTICS & the 80/20 Rule - 50 Food Truck Dates

Food Truck Date #7: Tempering Expectations, LOGISTICS & the 80/20 Rule

For this Food Truck Date, California Meat Boy and I will be doing a “he said/she said” version of our date with dating advice for the both ladiezz and gents… Enjoy, lovers. xo


Prior to Food Truck Date #7, California Meat Boy and I were exchanging emails to plan out the evening of our date. He sent me an email that “took the date by the horns,” so to speak, and zipped up all our plans… I’ve probably overshared the email by this point because I was so impressed, but I wasn’t the only one. Fans of 50 Food Truck Dates on Facebook chimed in, calling his message everything from confident to sweet and romantic.

50 Food Truck Dates

Everything about the email was a step outside the norm from my usual dating exchange:

  1. he read my blog (majah points) and picked up on a small comment I made (ATTENTION TO DETAIL and shows he’s thoughtful)
  2. he took the initiative to plan the date and make reservations even though this 50 Food Truck Dates project is largely led by me, which officially makes me feel like the MAN – always paying and setting up and planning every date I go on.

By planning the date, California Meat Boy switched around that MANLY feeling (huhh uhhh beer, football, boobs, repeat) for me immediately, and quickly made me pretty pumped for my date with him. The idea of being wined and dined, and swept off my feet for one night was enticing. I can’t remember the last time!

Gents, if you can make a girl feel special before she’s even gone on a the date with you, you’re already set up for an evening of success…


I’m a little surprised of the reaction to that short message I sent Jeanna. It only lends credence to the belief that “a little effort goes a long way.” I’ve come to learn from the various female friends in my life as well as the occasional date that something so inconsequential can have so much impact in the minds of people. Admittedly, it’s not rocket science but that simple concept can score a person major points with their date. Clearly something as basic as making dinner reservations ahead of time or even a friendly text follow up before the date isn’t hard to do, and has the potential to elicit a pretty positive reaction.

If you want my honest opinion, the guys that do this are out there. They’re not a rare breed. They are not mythical like unicorns. In fact, I believe they’re actually quite common. They just need to be given a chance, but women’s expectations also need to be tempered. Simple as that. :) My honest and humble opinion of course…


Tempering expectations is really important for women to try to do – single or coupled. My girl friends and I talk about this all the time – when you go into a dating & relationship situation with expectations, you’re more likely to be disappointed. Girls often make these grandiose plans in their head without clueing the man into them.

“We’re going to have a date night Friday and go to this new, fancy restaurant and then ice skating afterward, and then I’ll spend the night. And we’ll wake up and cuddle each other so hard Saturday morning and he’ll love me forever and ever, amen.”

We build a whole story up, then get mad when the guy has plans, which therefore turns into disappointing feelings, conversations about how the guy you’re dating “nevverrr takes initiative,” or even sometimes leading to an argument if you’re in a relationship. Keep your expectations at bay ladies, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised like I was when you receive the kind of treatment I did from California Meat Boy…

food truck date - bar agricole

via Yelp

On the actual evening of our Food Truck Date, California Meat Boy picked me up, and we drove to SoMa StrEatFood Park to grab food truck dessert before our dinner at Bar Agricole. We downed a few adult beverages at SoMa StrEatFood Park and snagged some treats from Cookie Time food truck (review coming separate) before heading out for dinner.

California Meat Boy was a super gentleman – opening my door when I was getting out of his car, offering to pay for my drink, putting his hand on the small of my back to lead me into the restaurant (girls you love this, right?) A lot of this is perceived to be old fashioned, and it’s not always necessary in my opinion, but it sure is nice when you’re treated extra special by your date. Most girls won’t object.

I was also really impressed with his restaurant choice – the atmosphere at Bar Agricole was very zen and romantic with wood walls, stunning, gigantic wave-like sculptures on the ceiling and candles at every table. The restaurant was packed, and even with 8 p.m. reservations, we still had to wait awhile for our table. It was a good thing we even had reservations, otherwise we might have never been seated!

I thought to myself - this is precisely why girls love it when a guy makes an actual date plan, including making dinner reservations. Despite how crazy we might be with expectations and planning, it doesn’t impress a girl if you show up to a restaurant on a date without a reservation, can’t get seated, and then are left with a hungry date and no back-up plan!

via @lattanav on Instagram


I mentioned earlier how minimal effort can mean a lot to a woman. But I have to admit that you ladies can be confusing! You want plans one minute and a level of spontaneity the next.

You have to understand that as a guy, this stuff is too exhaustive to keep track of sometimes. Maybe it’s not a fancy restaurant or a date planned weeks in advance. But when it comes to trying to “temper your expectations” of dates and men – how about being okay with a nice simple date at a nearby Thai restaurant down the street? Sure a little notice would be helpful. And maybe a little insight as to location choice or post diner plans. But don’t lose sight of the bigger picture, which is getting to know your date better. He shouldn’t be judged too harshly by his date planning skills but rather if he’s a good person overall.

A date should be less about the LOGISTICS, and more about if the two of you get along and share chemistry. I can’t be too far off the mark on this one…


Letting go of the LOGISTICS has been one of my biggest lessons with this 50 Food Truck Dates project. I’m a planner. I have at least two weeks planned out, without room to squeeze stuff in. This doesn’t work for scheduling dates and spontaneous moments with a boy I want to see again. Although I’m impressed with a guy who can plan a date and thinks about my schedule, I need to learn to give a little here too…

bar agricole - instagram

via @adimito on Instagram

Finally at our table, California Meat Boy and I ordered a few drinks and food to split (MEAT dishes, of course). Bar Agricole’s menu featured Spanish-influenced, locally sourced small plates in three different sizes. I LOVE it when my date is willing to try a bunch of dishes and split food. It makes trying a new restaurant that much more intimate and fun, and in my opinion, good conversation is best over sharing a great meal.

Together we dove into dinner conversation – we took a little bit of time to get to know each other better since we’ve been just a little more than acquaintances while I’ve lived in San Francisco. It was fun to learn some new things about him that I didn’t know (like he used to work on the east coast in the fashion industry!)

The majority of our convo for the evening, however, was a lot of analyzing the 30-something scene dating in general since California Meat Boy does a good amount of dating in the city too. Together we swapped notes on what dating the opposite sex was like, and it was interesting to get his viewpoint on a lot of it. What stood out to me the most was California Meat Boy’s theory on the “80/20 Rule” – good advice for us ladies…


If there’s one thing I ask of women, it’s to follow the 80/20 Rule. I know women make an effort here and there, but most of you wait for the guy to call, wait for the guy to kiss you, etc. I’d say most men are pretty easy going about that so it’s not unreasonable. BUT, you have to also know that guys are NOT mind readers. Don’t always assume we know what you’re thinking.

If you want to go out on a date to a specific restaurant, how about making casual suggestions to try it? (20 percent) And then we’ll ask you out on the date, make reservations, and pick you up (80 percent). Or if you want a guy to kiss you or ask you out again, maybe drop some clearer hints that you want it to happen. I’m not saying you should be literal about it but c’mon, you can be a little more obvious about things. I think making that 20 percent effort will make a guy inclined to come the rest of the 80 percent. You’ve got to give him something

bar agricole

via @antoinettebruno on Instagram


As California Meat Boy was explaining his 80/20 Rule, I thought a lot about the rule as it pertained to him and I … had I given him 20 percent? So far I’d spent a little bit of time admittedly shirking his advances since we first met each other in summer of 2011, but here I was, enjoying myself on a “real date” with him nearly a year and a half later. I still felt a part of me, though, was holding out giving him even 20 percent for fear of changing our friendship, or the uncertainty of really being a match for each other.

During the end of our meal and one of our analytical convos about dating in San Francisco and my project he said to me:

I get the feeling you’re looking for that “sweep off your feet, head over heels feeling,” and you just don’t feel it with me.

The comment made me pause – it wasn’t said bitterly or rude, it was just matter of fact. I suppose California Meat Boy has been on enough dates that the prospect of one girl – me – acting uninterested or aloof wasn’t new, or even disappointing. I had admired his comments during our date that if you don’t like a guy, just tell him. It’s better for him to know right away, then to be lead on and think there’s something happening, when really there’s not…

The funny thing was, I felt something, on the date. Our conversation was great, and I’m not sure if it was the wine or the fabulous food and evening, but I started to look at him in the possible light of “more than friends.” But, I’m very calculated and rational with decisions like this, oftentimes analyzing and weighing pros and cons before I make decisions that could ruin friendships. Perhaps I need to be more spontaneous with not only my schedule, but my actions in love too…

But the truth is, he’s right – I’m nervous to take a friendship to another level if I’m not sure it’s something I really, really want. I might take awhile reaching that decision. And I don’t want to be convinced. I am looking for more of a swept off my feet, head over heels feeling.

Is that a pipe dream?


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About Jeanna

Jeanna's going on 50 Food Truck Dates - 50% for the story, 50% for the love and 25% for the food. That's more than 100%, but who's judging. Follow her food and date adventures in San Francisco and beyond by subscribing to via email or RSS.
11th December 2012
  • Brittany

    Not at all! You deserve an amazing man Jeanna! I will say though that it took me about 4 dates to really let myself fall for my now fiancé. Much like what you are describing, I was super rational and wanted to be totally and completely blown away. Well, I was, but it was only after I let my guard down.
    Maybe give him another chance and see where it goes?
    Lots of love for you :)

    • the50dates

      @6af2f4e05fbde59513739ca707f04d81:disqus See! It’s the quick judgement that makes me worried cause a lot of people I know in happy relationships didn’t think they’d be into their husband/boyfriend on date one, or even date two! I’m wondering how you go about making the decision to move into more dates, if you’re not really feeling it at first… Maybe I need to do 50 3rd Food Truck Dates. ;)

  • Sarah Alway

    This sounds like a really fun date! And I think if you are looking for a “swept off your feet, head over heels feeling” then you absolutely, 100% deserve it! But I also think there’s a lot to be said for friendships that turn into something more over time, so don’t sell yourself short and explore those possibilities, too!

    • the50dates

      Thanks Sarah! I agree. I need to be better and going with the flow then making a snap decision. I mean – if had done that, you and Stew wouldn’t be together today, right? :)

  • kegill

    Jeanna – Mike and I were “just friends” for more than a year before we started “dating”. And even then, it moved pretty slowly (and I would get panicky about commitment and need to breath). Turns out (lucky for me!) that he’s very patient and understanding.

    • the50dates

      I love hearing that @kegill:disqus! I feel such a sense of impatience these days, but know that some of the best relationships are built from friendships. Who knows what my path or partner will be! I’m trying to enjoy the ride … even though it’s very trying sometimes. I’m glad you and Mike were able to work things out. :)