If anyone understands the challenges of dating in New York, it’s DJ Crystal Rosas of Z100 afternoon radio. The 28-year-old sometimes has two dates in one day – with bankers, hipsters, musicians and a guy who has become known to his fans as “Venmo King”.
“For the first few weeks, I thought, ‘I could marry this guy. Even my mother was invested in the relationship! she told the Post. The sailing went smoothly until the couple took a New Years 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 aire Costco catering. “I couldn’t believe it, but if he felt like it was valid enough to send, I figured I’d finish the charge.”
Seemingly overjoyed at this split, the next day the Venmo King asked Rosas to officially be his girlfriend.
“Of course not,” she said with a laugh.
Rosas recounts her dates — the good, the bad, and the cheapest — 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 to pick up steam in 2020… during the pandemic, when nobody had anything to do, I definitely had more ‘listeners,’ Rosas said. “The listeners loved the relationship I had with my ex and [nicknamed him] “Stepping Stone”, because “they thought it would be the stepping stone until I found the true love of my life”. Both have been on and off for years, with many listeners supporting them.
While it’s not entirely clear what will happen with Stepping Stone, she said, “He will always have a special place in my heart. He taught me unconditional love and how a man should treat me. We’re at different places in our lives right now, but I’m never going to say that maybe we’ll ever be back.
One of Rosas’ most serious and enduring relationships, however, is with his listeners. “I constantly talk to my listeners on Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. They often have a better idea of what’s good for me than me,” she said.
Rosas grew up in Oakland, California, the daughter of Mexican immigrants and the middle child between two brothers. Her father is a driver for residents of a nursing 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 then 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.
Le says moving to the Big Apple has boosted his podcast — and his love life. But she wants to set the record straight: “This is not a sexual podcast. It’s about encounters and my life. New York also plays a big role because all of these dates are in great locations around the city,” she said.
One is Soho’s Lure Fishbar, where Rosas brought three friends on a date with a “typical finance bro,” she said. Shortly after being seated in the posh downtown haunt, the three women were subjected to a slide show on Finance Bro’s cell phone.
“He was showing us pictures of his Rolex collection. He was absolutely trying to flex on us,” Rosas said. But when the $300 bill arrived, the guy suggested we split it with the ladies. “Here’s this guy who shows us his expensive watches but won’t cover the check,” she said. “Of course, I brought three friends, so I was all for helping pay for it. We were just a little puzzled by the hypocrisy and the audacity.
As for where she finds these guys, she said, “I’m on all the dating apps because I like variety.” That said, she has a type: “As the daughter of immigrants, I like foreigners. I find they have less rights, more respect and more gentlemanly.
As for her ideal match, “I want someone who’s really funny, who has a stable career, who’s generous, and who understands my career and my life,” Rosas said.
And while she relies on apps, she’s also old-fashioned on some things: “I don’t do DM dates,” Rosas said of guys sneaking into her Instagram posts. This is because she doesn’t want potential dates to know what she does for a living until they meet her.
“It’s hard for me to tell if they’re trying to date me for me or because of my job or my status,” she said. “I get amazing benefits and access to cool opportunities, events, and people through my job, and I could see why anyone would want to date me just because of that.”
Although she’s not exactly secretive when it comes to her love life, Rosas often waits a while before revealing the true nature of her profession to her future boyfriends. “I usually tell a first date that I’m a writer because it might make them uncomfortable if I say I host a dating podcast,” she said. “This guy, who I’m still seeing, didn’t believe me, so he googled me and listened to the podcast without telling me.”
She didn’t care, but there was just one problem.
She’d also been on a second date the same day, with another man, and it didn’t go well – he seemed more excited about her future plans of watching a Rangers game with his friends than dating her . “So I talked about the wrong 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 still see each other casually. “He said, at this point he knows he’ll be discussed on the podcast so he’ll stop listening, but I’m sure he’ll tune in from time to time.”
Rosas isn’t really in a rush to settle down, but she’s thinking about the future.
“I plan to have a family and babies with someone when I’m close to mid-30s. But for now, I’m going to keep enjoying ‘Crystal’s Nightcaps’ until I meet a guy that’s worth it for me to close the bar.
Photos: Stephen Yang; Stylist: Nicole Zane; Hair: T. Cooper using ECRU New York; Makeup: Markphong with Pixi Beauty; Styling Assistant: Alexa Hempel; Nails courtesy of Maria “Betty Cakezz” Castillo at @bettycakezz on Instagram; Location: Gitano, Governors Island.