The third friend is a doctor who spent her 20s and 30s in medical school and training. She said the married people in medical school were the ones who started that way or were engaged before entering. She enjoys her life’s work, but is thousands of miles away from most of her family and says she has put off online dating in her newly adopted city after so many bad experiences in her last hometown.

I know they are not alone. And I think there will be more really talented, successful women in the future who hit 40 by themselves if young women keep being told by feminists’ intellectual offspring in universities across the nation and premier media keep telling them that marriage is simply one valid choice among many, and that it can be put off almost indefinitely because of medical advancements. If we are honest, most will admit that is false.

Marriage rates among those with a college education remain high, as Charles Murray chronicles in 2012’s Coming Apart, but plummeted in the last 50 years for those with no more than a high school degree. But with one in three people under 30 claiming no religion according to a 2012 Pew Research Center study — the highest percentage ever — I wonder if a larger share of the highly educated in this group choose not to marry because they will not be bound by conviction or tradition to do so. That would be bad for many of them, who will find out that freedom often stems from a partner’s unconditional love, not the ability to move out at month’s end or sneak out before dawn after hooking up.