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The secret to success and happiness: Don’t be an asshole.

Hello from San Diego, money nerds! As much as I wish I’d been down here for Comic Con last weekend, I’m actually here to hang out with some of my blogging buddies for a few days. I guess that’s just as nerdy.

Today’s stories follow a sort of narrative arc. Fun, right?

How to talk about money in your relationship. [Stefanie O’Connell] — “You don’t have to come right out and ask a bunch of deeply personal financial questions, but you should be on the lookout for cues and comments that might offer insights into your potential partners’ relationship with money, and think about how those views and behavior may or may not fit with your own. These clues can pop up in conversations ranging from upcoming vacation plans to how to split the check.”

Why are men still paying for first dates? [The Atlantic] — “Who’s expected to pay for a date may seem trivial — some would even argue that covering the tab is a form of respecting women — but there’s reason to believe that this minor, ‘benevolent’ form of sexism can lead to a fraught question of what the man is then owed.” [Related: Am I the asshole for letting my date pay for dinner? on Reddit.]

I was happy to marry a poor man. Then things changed. [Bitches Get Riches] — “When we met, [my husband] was an actor. He made about $20,000 every year; he had no health insurance; and nothing by way of retirement or savings…I love making money. And I’m good at it. In our partnership up to that point, making money was My Thing. By the time we got married, I was making 2.5 times the money he was, in a career with much more growth potential. I’d paid off my student loans early and weaseled him onto my insurance.” [Related: Am I the asshole for making my “yes” to my boyfriend’s marriage proposal contingent on him getting a better ring? on Reddit.]

Want to be happy and successful? Don’t be an asshole. [Fast Company] — “There is an arc to being an asshole. The aspirants (people trying to make a living) are generally kind…The near successful (where I’ve spent most of my adult life) tend to over-index on the asshole meter…The super-successful people I know are usually nicer, more generous, and generally better mannered.”

I think that last bit of advice could serve as a fully-functional life philosophy: Don’t be an asshole. In fact, it’s essentially the 4000-year-old Golden Rule stated in reverse.

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