Like people, your characters are millions and millions of facts and small traits; age, family, relationships (friendships, acquaintances, previous romantic relationships if any), likes, dislikes, how they were raised, where they were raised (in what environment).
Basically, you have to remember who your characters are, how they are, and why they are the way they are. Some people are better at flirting than others and the reason for such relies in the facts: it’s in how they are like. Someone who is shy by nature might not be good at flirting—they might stutter, might say embarrassing things, might think a lot about what they’re saying and have it come up messily anyway. On the other hand, people who are more on the extroverted side might be better at flirting.
Knowing how they are like is helpful when it comes down to the type of ‘flirts’ they are. Some people are more direct than others whilst others beat around the bush too much.
There are several types of flirting. (read more about it here)
- Sincere: it’s the most natural kind of flirting. It simply happens out of attraction for the person in question. Flattery is common with this type.
- Polite: it has more to do with proper etiquette and manners. Usually outright flirting doesn’t go along with it.
- Playful: playful flirting is more on the joking side. People who flirt playfully tend not to mean it—or they do mean it, and don’t seek anything further than just joking.
- Traditional: while the definition of traditional flirting is hetero-normative, I will change it so it works regardless of gender or sexuality. It’s more of a dynamic where one person does most of the flirting at the beginning, giving all kinds of attention, while the other lets themselves be wooed and positively reinforces the other person so they continue to flirt.
- Physical: I consider physical flirting an optional addition to the previous types. You have to take care of the body language and if they show attraction through their bodies and the gestures they make. Smiling, batting eyelashes, blushing, hugging, hand holding while talking can be considered some signs of showing attraction for someone. And here are some more.
You can take a test for your characters and figure out the type of flirt they’d be like. I also found this very well-done guide on flirting, some tips on flirting here, and one about attraction here.
The relationship between the two characters plays a huge part, too, so consider it just as much as you should consider your characters’ personalities. If they are ‘sincere’ flirts, it might be easier (or harder) to show their emotions if they have known the person for a while, or if they haven’t.
When it comes to actually writing the scene, just go for it. If it’s a date and they’re talking, write their conversation, see how it flows. There’s not much left to it but to write it.
Best of luck,