Big: You know, Manhattan has a lot of beautiful women.
Carrie: What an amazing observation!
Big: But the thing is, after awhile, you just wanna be with the one who makes you laugh.
~ Sex and the City
I do think it was a "positive" for Chantal O. though...relationships take "lots" of putting the other person first...especially when it's not what we "feel" like doing at the moment...so kudos to her.
I had the impression that that part of their date was for the audience's benefit, as Brad didn't seem surprised by anything she was saying. But since we had never been shown their discussion about Chantal's living arrangements, etc. they had to show them having this discussion to set up the HTD we are about to watch.
Okay, the way I see it.... for the HTD he comes in to see Emily/daughter not that long after Emily comes home from being away. Not only have Emily/daughter have not seen each other in a while, which is tough on both of them, but also Emily is bringing another person (Brad) into the mix for this time period.
IMO meeting the child of someone you care about would be an important moment even without the restraints/complications of a reality show. Emily has also told Brad that she doesn't typically introduce Ricki to people she's dates. IMO, he's being respectful of the situation. Ricki isn't used to having another man around, and while Brad cares about her mother, he's trying to balance wanting to get to know Ricki without forcing himself/his relationship with Emily into her life. That will take time. To me, the space between them on the blanket is a physical symbol of that.
No "meeting the child" situation is going to be perfect within the constraints of this show. However, I think that if he truly loves her, and vice versa, they will work out any issues that come up, proposal or not. If he proposes, it doesn't necessarily his relationship with Ricki is all hunky dory and like living in candy land. It does mean that whatever constraints there are, they will work though them together.