1. You will find newspaper clippings, everywhere. It won’t matter that he/she has a free online subscription to the New York Times, and it won’t matter that it seems like there are more copies of the Wall Street Journal in your kitchen than there are dishes. Don’t throw any of those clippings out. Don’t throw any of the papers out either. Especially if they’re highlighted.
2. You had better know your countries, capitals, and world leaders. If you don’t at the point that your relationship begins, trust me, he/she will educate you. By force if necessary. Give it a couple months, and you’ll be able to spell Ougagdougo in your sleep.
3. Poli/Sci majors tend to have strong opinions. About everything. And we’re good at arguing too. In fact, we LIKE arguing. We get antsy if we have’t had a good debate over why we should go to Taco Bell for dinner instead of Wendy’s in a while.
4. Listen to them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t care about that particular world summit, or if you don’t understand the history behind that conflict. Just sit down and listen.
5. Don’t be surprised if you get a text at 2 am in all caps, quoting breaking news at you. Well….usually a more profane phrasing of the breaking news headlines. For example, “DID YOU HEAR WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON IN GAZA AND ISRAEL WITH THE SECRET TUNNELS AND SHIT OH MY GOD”
6. Be willing to learn from them. People who study poli/sci or international relations usually do so out of a passion for the world around them. They want to share that with other people, especially the person that is most important to them.
7. Never belittle them. He/she will not take well to being treated like they are beneath you. If you know more about a certain subject than they do, teach them. If you’re better at cooking red meat than they are, stand behind them and guide their hands with your own as you show them how to properly stir the ground beef into the oil. If you know that they are afraid of heights, let them lean into you while going down the escelator, so that they don’t have to look down. Never make fun of them for their fears.
8. A political science/IS major wants to travel the world, even if it’s only a roadtrip a to a place just over the state line. Encourage them. Plan roadtrips and epic international adventures with them, even if they never are able to happen. Make the ones you can afford to go on, happen. He/she will take those memories and treasure them more than any fancy dinner date.
9. We want experiences. Give us those, and we’ll give you everything.