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Mass Effect 2 had a very definite trigger point when the romance would culminate with your chosen paramour. If I remember correctly, Mass Effect 1 did as well.

Is there a certain mission or event that triggers it in this game, or does it happen some other way?

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Wild Guess: When you launch the final assault, same as in the past 2 games. –  Raven Dreamer Mar 9 '12 at 3:11
    
@RavenDreamer I figure that's true, but I'll feel pretty dumb if I miss it because I made that assumption and didn't partake in some convoluted courting ritual –  Sterno Mar 9 '12 at 3:12
    
(Hopefully) after a few drinks and a night out on the ship; go see a movie, or take her to the fair. –  GnomeSlice Jan 17 '13 at 18:01

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It happens when you're ready to put all of your cards on the table, right before you

attack the Cerberus base head-on in search of the Prothean V.I.

You'll have the typical "Are you sure?" dialogue (with Admiral Hackett) once you go to begin this mission.

As CaulynDarr notes, the actual Paramour achievement itself is awarded earlier in the game following the

Cerberus attack on the Citadel

While I'm unsure of the specifics for all available romance options, a "successful" relationship with Liara in my playthrough revolved around three key conversation events:

  • Liara asks about your other romance option in Mass Effect 2, if you had one
  • Liara asks you to come to the Presidium Commons on the Citadel (Paramour achievement is awarded at this point)
  • Liara visits you in your cabin prior to the final mission
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You get the Paramour achievement much earlier

When you choose your romance partner after Cerberus attacks the Citadel.

When this happens some of the romance options include um..er..consummation.

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