Rose Quartz, Intergalactic Gem of Mystery. While she’s a legend in the series, and to the Crystal Gems, we don’t know a whole lot about her. She very carefully managed how others thought of her, and she seems to be thought of very differently by each of the five people/Gems who knew who she was and have given opinions (Amethyst, Garnet, Pearl, Greg, and Jasper if you’re curious whether we counted Ruby and Sapphire separately).
We Need to Talk was the most honest we ever got to see Rose Quartz being honest with someone else, and even then we can’t be 100% certain it’s an accurate view. First of all, it’s Greg telling a story to Connie and Steven. He has no reason to lie, but he might have remembered it wrong. It’s pretty important conversation though, so we’re figuring it’s fairly accurate.
The other interesting question is how honest Rose was being. She probably was, but it’s worth mentioning because she had just finished play-acting as a totally different person. Most likely she let her guard down with Greg and expressed her true feelings, but there’s always that nagging possibility that she didn’t. We can put a low chance on that though since, as a story, it would cheapen her romance with Greg and have the story make a sharp turn into tragedy territory.
I like playing along
Rose’s lyrics in What Can I Do For You have been heavily analyzed, and they are clear foreshadowing for the reveal of the nature of her relationship with Greg: her interests in him are shallow, and though she finds him fun to be around there’s no sense of attachment.
When Greg starts taking things more seriously than Rose thought he would, and so stopped giving the responses that she expected, there’s an immediate change in her demeanor. She is confused, and when Greg starts showing signs of distress she is worried about him.
Though she’s had human familiars in the past, none of them apparently felt the same way about her as Greg did. While Rose affecting a sultry but aloof persona was enough to keep Greg interested for a while, apparently it had worked out quite well for her before. She was a powerful, alien figure, acting as was expected of her, and nobody she knew before wanted an honest relationship with her so deeply that the act stopped being sufficient.
I’m not a real person
Story for Steven actually showed a bit of Rose’s true personality to Greg. Her saying that she really wanted to play with Greg but didn’t want him to give up on his life for her was certainly genuine and heartfelt. Their earlier interactions also seemed to be rather authentic Rose, though in her first meeting with Greg she seemed to be affecting some of the aloofness that she believed was expected of her.
Their talk before they danced in We Need to Talk, however, involved Rose speaking honestly instead of merely not adopting a persona. Her not missing her home planet is a very interesting (and certainly very intentional as well) contrast to her thinking it awful that Greg would leave his own home planet. We as viewers know that she rebelled against the Gem homeworld on Earth’s behalf, so we know the reason for her apparent hypocrisy and likely some good ideas about why him not knowing much about her is a good thing. That indicates that, despite her loving nature, she did some things to defend the Earth that she isn’t proud of.
It’s still quite curious that Rose Quartz would not miss the homeworld. She may have rebelled to protect the Earth, but no matter how much she liked Earth one would still expect that not to diminish how much she liked her home. This points to Rose Quartz having a longstanding distaste for the homeworld, but it’s largely just speculation about why. We are bound to find out more eventually, especially if Rose’s likely position in the Gems’ inner circle is ever explored (which it certainly will be).