How to Hint At Romance In Writing

How to Hint At Romance In Writing

This guide gives you some tips on dropping hints of romance without explicitly stating it, or having your characters shout it from the rooftops. 


Focus on the Small Things

If your goal is subtlety, start by focusing on the little things rather than sweeping clifftop declarations of love. This could be:

  • Eye contact
  • Accidental touches
  • In-jokes
  • Shared secrets
  • Thoughtful tokens
  • Shared smiles
  • Unspoken understandings
  • Memory of their scent

Also consider spacing these out if you’re trying to hint at a budding romance. Too much all at once means you’ll lose the subtlety.


Body Language

“Show, don’t tell” is a handy trick when you’re trying to be subtle when writing a growing romance. Think about what your character will unconsciously (or consciously) start doing when they have a crush.

Tucking their hair behind their ears? Avoiding eye contact? Smiling to themselves about a memory? I made you a free body language cheat sheet if you need some help with this!


Free Writing 
Cheat Sheets
Body language cheat sheet, settings cheat sheet, and a plot outline template, straight to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!



A lot of writers use conflict as a shortcut to romantic chemistry. I love banter between romantic interests, but remember that they should have things they appreciate about each other too, such as:

  • Their bravery
  • Their wit
  • Their values
  • Their kindness
  • Their looks
  • Their laugh

As they get to know each other better and crush grows, they may find new things to appreciate, or see old flaws in a new light.



Special Person

If you’re going for subtlety and hints, I’m guessing that’s because there’s a lot of other elements going on in your story. Throughout all the other subplots, see if you can find a way to weave in that these characters are each other’s special person, even if they’re not together yet.

For example, after a catastrophe, maybe character A’s first instinct is to check on character B. Maybe when B hears a secret, they instantly wonder what A would think. Readers will pick up on this.

Back to blog

You might also need...