If you’ve ever been judged for who you’ve chosen to date, it’s time to brush the haters off! Because science has got your back on this one. In a new study, researchers examined the importance of selecting the perfect mate and why love is so important.

In the study, they observed the relationships between zebra finches, which have a “mate for life” mentality close to humans. They basically set up a speed dating sesh for the birds. After they picked their partners, half were allowed to keep their chosen ones, and the others were torn apart and forced to pair up with randomly selected mates.

Researchers studied the couples’ interactions and their offsprings’ health. Though the males from both groups showed their mates the same amount of attention, the non-chosen females were far more disinterested in their partners and significantly less intimate with them. And surprisingly, the non-chosen males started sneaking out and cheating as time went on while the non-chosen females roamed less.

The non-chosen males weren’t the best fathers either, slacking during the critical 48 hours of their offsprings lives. In contrast, the couples who chose each other were super lovey-dovey and had a 37% higher offspring survival rate. Based off of the similarities in mating style, researchers concluded that following your heart in love is far more beneficial than settling (even if he is loaded…don’t. do. it.).

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