Cosmo Says Single Men Save Up For Engagement Rings. Is It Romantic or Are the Intentions Misguided?

Cosmo recently published a piece about some sappy guy named Ian who started saving up for an engagement ring at the age of 18. When he was completely single. Before you start swooning with the romance of it all, consider what's really more important in planning for a future family. Is it expensive jewelry, or life choices that will allow for more time with the kids?

"When I was younger, I felt that marriage would hold me back and somehow stiffle my sense of adventure. I really just think I was afraid of commitment," writes Juan Garcia, the author of the Cosmo piece. At 33, Garcia has now decided he's ready to get married, and will use his "life event" fund as a ring fund. Just goes to show, it's never too late for the perfect bling.

I asked some of my guy friends what their take was on the engagement fund. Many dudes were bemused at the idea of planning so far ahead. "It seems so far away, and it's a problem that rings are that expensive," said Ben, 26. "[I've] never really thought about it," said Colin, 21. "So I guess [I wouldn't save]."

I wonder how many 20-something women have never thought about future wedding-related expenses—or, more significantly, about family-related expenses. Most ladies I talk to seem to factor in future children when talking about their career plans, something I've yet to hear men do with the same frequency. But all is not lost: There are young men who account for their future families. "If I was going to put money in the bank for something so far ahead it'd be for my kid's education," said Josh, 21. "All that glitters is not gold."

While the guy over at Cosmo has sweet intentions, it might also be more romantic to forgo the big diamond. "A fancy engagement ring isn't really my style," said Emmanuel, 24. I'd be more likely to pick some unique piece up while traveling or something else that feels more special than an expensive diamond."

What about Ian? Well, he met the girl, and "the diamond (his savings) finally served its purpose. While the stone had been selected several years earlier, he personalized the ring with the perfect setting. It was exactly what she wanted." Swoon (not). Hopefully Cosmo ladies will soon figure out that romance is not so much about planning for a great ring, but about planning for a great relationship—and there are many decisions men can make that will be more important than how big of a diamond to buy.