so this took me forever to figure out how to articulate but my biggest problem with Nat’s characterization (or lack thereof) was the way she was flirting with Bruce.
Like Steve said, he’s seen Natasha flirt up close and personal. She uses her sexuality as a weapon or a distraction, whatever fits the mission. That’s what she was trained to do by the Red Room. She was trained to be all flirty and coy to get what she wants. That was her training.
Which is exactly why it felt so wrong in the movie. Natasha wouldn’t flirt with Bruce if she liked him because any kind of flirting would feel like subjugation and deception after using it as a weapon in her arsenal for so many years. That’s how she was trained to kill. The way she was flirting with Bruce felt like she was buttering up a target or a mark. It was awkward and forced and just so wrong because if she really cared about him, she wouldn’t beat around the bush, she would say so straight out because that is the exact opposite of how she was trained to interact with people.
Natasha Romanoff was trained to use sex and her looks as weapons and you really expect us to believe that she’d be comfortable using those same techniques to interact with someone she genuinely cares about? No fucking way.