This page contains all the information you need on how to begin, and keep, a romance with Ashley Williams.
Ashley is only available to romance as a male Shepard. After meeting her on Eden Prime, you can strike up a flirtation after the Med-Bay scene or during the scenic view of the Citadel. You can’t continue or really pursue the romance until after you’ve completed your first mission proper: either Therum, Noveria or Feros. Go and talk to her once back on the Normandy and you can strike up a long conversation about her military service and her mistrust of aliens. Avoid picking the Renegade responses or this will immediately shut down any hopes you have for a relationship.
After the next major mission, you can talk to her again where she will tell you more details of her past and family. Once again, avoid the Renegade responses and when she hints at being something more, choose “We will? and Oh? to continue. After the third major mission, you can talk to her again and provided you weren’t mean to her in previous conversations, you can progress the romance further.
The biggest factor in successfully completing this romance is once you get to Virmire. As you play through the mission, you will be forced to choose between Ashley or Kaiden. Of course, should you wish to continue your romance with Ashley, you should pick her or that will put to bed any dreams you may have had for a happily ever after. No plot armor can bring her back if you save Kaiden instead.
If you save Ash on Virmire, flirt with her and don’t upset her, you should get a confirmation once the Normandy has been grounded. She will come to you near the lockers in the hangar bay where the pair will almost share a kiss until Joker rudely interrupts. Once the romance is locked in, you will get a final romance scene on the way to Ilos.
Complications with Liara
Liara can definitely cause some issues for Shepard even when trying to pursue a romance with Ashley. Due to her natural curiosity, she will make advances towards Shepard and Ashley will notice. Ashley won’t be entirely convinced if you try and persuade her you have no interest in Liara (avoid Renegade options here) especially if you weren’t trying to dissuade Liara as much as possible.
If you end up flirting with both ladies, there will be an inevitable showdown where they will both approach Shepard in the Comm Room to discuss the situation. You have three options:
- tell Ashley “It’s not like that” and “Goodbye Liara” to choose Ashley.
- pick “Don’t be” to choose Liara and have a romance with Ashley locked out.
- Choosing “Can’t I have both?” will result in both ladies getting upset, locking you out of both options though interestingly you can pick back up a romance with Liara later. She just really likes Shepard, huh?
- Talk to Ashley after every mission: [Therum], [Feros], [Noveria] and [Virmire].
- Pick Paragon options (upper right), avoid Renegade options (lower right) whenever possible.
- Use common sense: flirt with her, don’t friend-zone her, don’t tell her you’re interested in other squad members.
- Try to do the opposite with Liara; do not flirt with her, tell her you’re interested in Ashley, pick Renegade dialogue options (lower right), or just ignore her on the Normandy as much as possible. Poor girl.
If you manage to strike up a romantic relationship, you’ll earn the Paramour I achievement.
Establish a romantic relationship in Mass Effect 1, 2 or 3