In the modern day and age, it’s common to be surrounded by an overwhelming amount of options — where you can eat for a night out, career paths, cities to live in. But you also have a lot of options when it comes to relationship partners. Increasingly, the Internet has opened up the door for millions of people to find each other in ways never thought possible.

So if you live in a big city in which most young people bump into new young people daily, and can meet prospective suitors with the swipe of a finger on their phone, it’s very easy to take on the mentality that there’s always going to be someone better out there. Why settle for someone’s flaws when there’s possibly a Prince Charming right next door who’s an upgraded version of the person you’re with?

While in some cases this might be true, having a lot of options can also be crippling. Everyone has flaws, and every relationship requires work, and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. A new study out of Michigan State University (MSU) argues that, scientifically, settling may actually be more evolutionarily practical than waiting for Mr. Right. People who are picky might wait in earnest to find the right person, only to find that they’ve skipped out on a lot of feasible options holding out for an ideal that may not always exist. And the greatest risk of all for such people would be to not mate at all and not have children.

“Primitive humans were likely forced to bet on whether or not they could find a better mate,” Chris Adami, a professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at Michigan State University and co-author of the study, said in the press release. “They could either choose to mate with the first, potentially inferior, companion and risk inferior offspring, or they could wait for Mr. or Ms. Perfect to come around. If they chose to wait, they risk never mating.”

Adami and his fellow author Arend Hintze, a research associate at MSU, tracked the risk-taking behaviors of digital organisms through thousands of generations of evolution by using a computation model. The “organisms” had been programmed to make bets in gambles that were similar to the major decisions humans and other animals must make that could change their lives, such as choosing a mate.

They found that organisms are more likely to avoid risks if they were brought up in smaller communities — and the same is true for humans, the authors argue. In other words, since primitive humans were likely to live in small groups of 150 people or less, they were also more likely to be risk-averse and thus settle for a mate that was good enough rather than wait around for someone better. As a result, those people were at an advantage than others who waited because they were able to ensure they reproduced, while others put themselves at risk to not have offspring.

But playing it safe isn’t always the best bet for everyone. The authors admit that it was likely a mix of risk-takers and risk-averse individuals who pushed the human species forward and allowed people to evolve.

Source: Hintze A, Olson R, Adami C, Hertwig R. Risk sensitivity as an evolutionary adaptation. Scientific Reports. 2015.