If anyone understands the challenges of dating in New York, it’s Z100 afternoon radio DJ Crystal Rosas. The 28-year-old sometimes goes on two dates in one day — with bankers, hipsters, musicians and a guy who’s become known to her fans as “the Venmo King.”
“Within the first few weeks, I thought, ‘I could marry this guy.’ Even my mom was invested in the relationship!” she told The Post. It was smooth sailing until the pair took a New Year’s trip to Atlantic City. “When I got home, he sent me a Venmo charge for literally half of everything we did on the trip” — including Ubers, gas and a chicken dinner from the Costco food court. “I couldn’t believe it, but if he felt like it was valid enough to send, I figured I’d just complete the charge.”
Apparently delighted by this split, the next day the Venmo King asked Rosas to officially be his girlfriend.
“Obviously, no,” she said with a laugh.
Rosas chronicles her dates — the good, the bad and the cheap — on her weekly “Crystal’s Nightcap” podcast, available on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Music and Spotify.
It debuted in 2018, while she was living in San Francisco, but “started gaining momentum in 2020 … during the pandemic, when no one had anything to do, I got more listeners for sure,” Rosas said. “Listeners loved the relationship I had with my ex and [nicknamed him] ‘Stepping Stone,’” because “they thought he’d be the stepping stone until I found the real love of my life.” The two were on and off for years, with many listeners rooting for them.
Though she’s not entirely clear on what will happen with Stepping Stone, she said, “He will always have a special place in my heart. He taught me about unconditional love and how a man should treat me. We are in different places in our lives right now but I’ll never say never about us possibly rekindling one day.”
One of Rosas’ most serious and long-lasting relationships, though, is with her listeners. “I’m constantly talking to my listeners on Snapchat and Instagram and Twitter. They often have more of an insight on what’s good for me than I do,” she said.
Rosas grew up in Oakland, California, the daughter of Mexican immigrants and the middle child between two brothers. Her dad is a driver for residents at a retirement home and her mother owns a property management business. She studied business marketing at California State University, East Bay, and her first radio gig was an internship at a local station. She later hosted “The Crystal Show” on San Francisco’s Wild 94.9 FM before moving to New York and Z100, which draws some 2.9 million listeners a week, in July 2021.
The said that moving to the Big Apple has energized her podcast — and her dating life. But she wants to set the record straight: “It’s not a sex podcast. It’s about dating and my life. New York plays a big role, too, because all of these dates happen at great spots in the city,” she said.
One of them is Soho’s Lure Fishbar, where Rosas brought three friends along on a date with a “typical finance bro,” she said. Shortly after being seated at the posh downtown haunt, the three women were subjected to a slideshow on Finance Bro’s cell phone.
“He was showing us pictures of his collection of Rolexes. He was absolutely trying to flex on us,” Rosas said. But when the $300 bill arrived, the guy suggested splitting it with the ladies. “Here is this guy showing us his expensive watches but won’t cover the check,” she said. “Of course, I brought three friends, so I was totally OK helping pay. We were just a little perplexed at the hypocrisy and audacity.”
As for where she finds these guys, she said, “I’m on every dating app because I like variety.” That said, she has a type: “As the daughter of immigrants, I like foreign guys. I find that they’re less entitled, more respectful, and more gentleman-like.”
When it comes to her ideal partner, “I want someone who is really funny, has a stable career, is generous, and is understanding of my career and my life,” Rosas said.
And while she relies on apps, she’s also old-fashioned about some things: “I don’t do DM dates,” Rosas said of guys who slide into her Instagram messages. That’s because she doesn’t want prospective dates to know what she does for a living before meeting her.
“It’s hard for me to tell if they’re trying to date me for me or because of my job or status,” she said. “I get amazing perks and access to cool opportunities, events and people through my work, and I could see why someone would want to date me just because of that.”
Though she’s not exactly secretive when it comes to her dating life, Rosas often waits a while before revealing the true nature of her profession to prospective boyfriends. “I usually tell a first date that I’m a writer because it may make them feel uncomfortable if I say I host a podcast about dating,” she said. “This one guy, who I am actually still seeing, didn’t believe me so he Googled me and listened to the podcast without telling me.”
She didn’t mind, but there was just one problem.
She had also gone on a second date that same day, with another man, and it didn’t go well — he seemed more excited about his future plans to watch a Rangers game with his friends than to be out with her. “So I talked about the bad date on the podcast that night and the first guy heard it! He thought I was talking about our date.”
“I felt so bad, but he was really sweet about it,” she said, adding that they are still casually seeing each other. “He said, at this point, he knows he will be discussed on the podcast, so he’ll stop listening, but I’m sure will tune in every now and then.”
Rosas is not exactly in a hurry to settle down, but she’s thinking about the future.
“I do plan on having a family and babies with someone when I’m closer to my mid-30. But for now, I’ll keep enjoying ‘Crystal’s Nightcaps’ until I meet a guy worth it for me to close out the bar.”
Photos: Stephen Yang; Stylist: Nicole Zane; Hair: T. Cooper using ECRU New York; Makeup: Markphong using Pixi Beauty; Stylist Assistant: Alexa Hempel; Nails courtesy of Maria “Betty Cakezz” Castillo at @bettycakezz on Instagram; Location: Gitano, Governors Island.
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