We all have that friend: the beautiful, intelligent, driven woman who—like Katherine Heigl in every rom-com—can't find a decent date.

Like in New York, I [thought] it had something to do with the labor market here; fashion and PR and media attract a lot of women and Wall Street isn't nearly the all-male bash that it used to be, so I figured there would be all those shifts in the labor market—[I thought] maybe there was something unique about LA and Washington and New York that make them particularly bad for women. In fact, what I call the "college man deficit" is worse in rural states like Montana and West Virginia and Mississippi than it is in California and New York. This isn't China or India where they have a man-made gender imbalance because of all sorts of horrendous things.

[Men are] out there, they're just not going to college.

Last year about 35 percent more women than men graduated from college. The Department of Education projects that by the class of 2023, there will be 47 percent more women than men [graduating from college]. Obviously, none of this would matter if we were all a little more open-minded about who we are willing to date and marry.

One of those friends, Birger told me, "had been dating a guy for a couple years.

It certainly seemed like they were well on their way to getting married. She really wants to have kids, get married, the whole [thing]. "They'd been dating for over two years and he said he 'just wasn't ready to settle down.'" This got Birger, a former economics writer for , thinking: How could a man of that age be so cavalier about casting aside such an amazing woman?

And she's amazing in every way." One day at lunch, Birger casually asked her about her boyfriend. And why do we all have similar stories of incredible female friends trapped for years in dating hell? , a clever read with a sobering conclusion: There simply aren't enough college-educated men to go around.For every four college-educated women in my generation, there are three college-educated men. What Birger calls a "musical chairs" of the heart: As the men pair off with partners, unpartnered straight women are left with fewer and fewer options—and millions of them are eventually left with no options at all.I sat down for a long talk with Birger and found out why boys aren't graduating from college, why your best friend is single, and why more women should consider moving to Silicon Valley.VICE: How did you determine that there was this nation-wide "man deficit" among the college-educated?Jon Birger: I think when I began the research, I actually thought the conclusion was a little different.I assumed this was a New York problem or a big city thing. I mean they exist, they're just not going to college.