Nealfire to Emma on the whole date proposition.
Okay. Telling someone that you’re going to be having lunch at a specific place and that you’re going to expect them to show up is NOT easy. Neal knows that Emma is always going to love him somewhere in her heart. And I’d say he throws down this scenario because he thinks that her love will sway her to join lunch with him because she cares. Let’s break it down:
If she decides to go, she’s there semi-reluctantly because her first answer was not “yes.” Showing up without giving a full confirmation ahead of time, to me, is not a fully committed decision to start a relationship again. It’s a “Maybe I’ll do it even though I don’t want to, just to see what happens. But I have doubts.” If Emma showed up, she wouldn’t have been able to fully enjoy herself because deep in her heart she doesn’t want to walk down memory lane with Neal. She doesn’t want to revisit that relationship.
If she doesn’t go, Emma would be burdened with some guilt because she KNOWS that Neal is going to be sitting at Granny’s all alone, waiting for a person who doesn’t want to show up. She does care about Neal and she knows it’s not pleasant to realize that the person you want to date isn’t going to show up. Being stood up is not the greatest feeling, and Emma would know because Neal essentially stood her up… to get arrested by the police. Yeah. She knows what that’s like.
So no, making that proposition wasn’t making anything easier on Emma. It was burdensome. It was un-welcomed because afterwards Emma had people pushing her to give Neal a chance without taking the time to talk about the nitty gritty problems that Emma’s dealing with.
When someone tells you “no” or gives you an answer that’s not very positive, and you have this ugly history behind you where the person you’re asking out has VERY GOOD reasons to turn you down, you don’t keep pushing. You don’t give them uncomfortable propositions. That’s inconsiderate. You back off and try to earn that person’s trust back without shoving the idea of forgiveness and love in that person’s face. You do your best to be there for that person because you want to do what’s right for them.
I get that Neal cares about Emma, but this whole dating her thing is about him getting something for himself. It’s not about Emma’s wants and needs, because she begins her response with “I don’t know…” but before she can get in another word about why or what she’s concerned about, Neal interrupts her. He doesn’t even let her finish her thoughts because he’s not interested in listening to what she has to say. Neal didn’t even let Emma say no, and he gave her the option of showing up or not because he doesn’t want to hear “no.” He preferred to let Emma to drag out the decision-making process until the last minute where she says yes - which is what happened when Charming talked to Emma at the docks!
This is not making anything easy for Emma! It’s making things easy for Neal because all he had to do was sit at Granny’s and wait until Emma either guilt-tripped herself into coming, or argued herself into coming, or until someone else convinced Emma into coming to the date.