This page contains information about how to romance Liara, and perhaps just as importantly, how to avoid one. Liara can be romanced by both male and female Shepards.
Mass Effect doesn’t have particularly deep or treacherous romantic waters to sail, and Liara is arguably the easiest of the three characters to romance. In fact, she seems to end up as the default romantic choice if you don’t actively go out of your way to make it clear you’re not interested.
First, and most importantly, if you want to romance Liara you should head to [Therum] to recruit her as soon as possible. Or at least, do so before completing the missions on [Feros], [Noveria] and [Virmire]. Most romantic progress in Mass Effect will be made immediately after completing one of the main missions (listed above), whereupon you should talk to the character you’re interested in when you’re back on the Normandy. If you complete too many missions (not to be confused with assignments - do as many of those as you wish) before recruiting Liara on [Theum] you simply won’t have enough time to progress her romance.
Second, note that it doesn’t matter if you flirt with Kaiden or Ashley - doing so won’t affect your ability to end up in a romance with Liara. Worst case scenario you’ll end up in a fairly direct three-way confrontation where you’re forced fairly bluntly to choose between the two. If you end up being asked by Liara about your relationship with Kaiden/Ashley, tell her “It’s not serious.” and if she asks about herself, confirm that “I am attracted to you.”. If you want to sabotage any possible romances with Kaiden or Ashley, let them know you’re interested in Liara should the topic come up.
Third - and this holds true for every potential romantic partner - don’t be a jerk. In practice this means don’t pick the bottom right (Renegade) options. A lot of this should be common sense - avoid telling a character you’re interested in that you “just want to be friends” or that your interest is purely “professional” and don’t tell them that another character is “special” if they ask. When in doubt, pick the Paragon (upper right) options.
Should you have avoided making any of these obvious mistakes, you’ll get your final chance to progress your romance after [Virmire]. You’ll be back on the Normandy, and when you’re back in control after much chatter (including the usual hostile correspondence with the Council) be sure to talk to your romantic interest.
You’ll get confirmation that you’re locked into a romance shortly thereafter, when the Normandy is grounded by Udina. You’ll get a scene with Shepard near the lockers in the hangar bay, where your romantic interest and you will have a near-kiss before being interrupted by Joker.
Not too hard, to recap:
- Complete [Therum] before any other mission ([Feros], [Noveria] and [Virmire]) to ensure you recruit Liara early enough to progress her romance.
- Talk to Liara after every mission (the aforementioned [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.