Celebrity News

Love at second sight: Chrystal Chenery’s surprise romance

The Bachelor babe finds her soulmate
Chrystal Chenery, Ricky Cave

As students at the same high school, Chrystal Chenery and Ricky Cave can barely recall a single conversation. But fast-forward 15 years and this unlikely new couple are completely besotted.

Putting on an amorous display for our cameras in sunny Fiji, it’s plain to see the former Bachelorette and her beau have fallen head over heels for one another. It’s hard to believe that just six months ago, Chrystal had deemed hooking up with Ricky, a successful real estate agent and a regular on Auckland’s party scene, completely out of the question.

“A relationship wasn’t even on my mind,” says the 31-year-old, who bumped into Ricky while holidaying in Auckland in March. “I didn’t think we’d be a good match.”

But fate intervened. Chrystal was set to return to Australia’s Gold Coast, where she was then living and teaching yoga. Her bags were packed and her taxi was booked, but the beautiful blonde had overlooked her departure time and was left stranded at Auckland Airport when she missed her flight.

“Ricky offered me a place to stay just to help me out and that’s when a couple of extra nights in Auckland turned into a two-week stay,” tells Chrystal, who was a year above her beau at Christchurch’s Cashmere College. “Initially, we were just friends but the more we hung out, the more I got to know the real Ricky and I really liked what I saw.

“He’s such a genuine and positive person, with a heart of gold, and nothing at all like what I had expected.”

The star of the first season of TV3’s The Bachelor adds, “Who knows what might have happened if I did actually get on that flight. One minute we were mates, the next we were roomies and the next thing I knew we were down at the beach in Pauanui together and I really wanted him to kiss me.”

“And I really wanted to kiss her too,” recalls Ricky, 30. “But I was being so cautious of overstepping the friend zone that I almost completely missed the moment. “Chrystal actually had to tell me that night at dinner she’d been waiting all day for me to make my move.”

It’s this trait that has always attracted him to Chrystal, who also appeared on Dancing with the Stars on TV One last year. “She always speaks her mind and that’s something I love about her,” tells Ricky. “On TV, I think people probably took that as her being mean or being a bitch, but she’s none of those things. She can be very upfront but she’s also a real sweetheart.”

After almost two weeks of couple’s yoga, romantic walks on the beach and healthy homemade dinners, Chrystal eventually returned to the Gold Coast, but she only lasted three weeks without Ricky before going back to Auckland. And this time, the long-legged stunner was staying for good.

“I always intended to move back – New Zealand is my home,” says Chrystal, who took it as a sign from the universe she was on the right track. “Coming back to Ricky was just a bonus! “Nothing in our relationship has ever felt forced. Even when I went back to Aussie, Ricky and I didn’t have a big conversation about what we were. We took the approach if it’s meant to be, it will be – and obviously it was!”

The pair are now living together in Ricky’s home. While they admit moving in happened sooner than expected, sharing a luxurious love pad in Mission Bay has only strengthened their relationship.

“We hardly go out any more,” says yoga guru Chrystal, who is now teaching privately in Auckland. “We prefer to stay home and hang out with each other. One of our favourite things to do is play chess and drink red wine after a home-cooked meal.

“We also love to play fight. Ricky always jokes I must have had some sort of ninja training because I always manage to get out of his headlocks, which is way less embarrassing for a man in the comfort of your own home.”

But it’s not all play fights and goofing about; these lovebirds are serious about their future. “He has so many admirable qualities – Ricky works hard, he’s driven and motivated, but he’s also a massive family guy. He’s really brought out the best in me too. I’ve been darting about and travelling for so long now that I didn’t realise how much I wanted stability.

“Ricky’s the first guy I’ve dated that I’ve actually seen a future with – and I couldn’t be happier.”

It might not have been love at first sight for Chrystal Chenery and her new man Ricky Cave, but the besotted couple are all but inseparable now!

Loading the player…

Chrystal’s surprise romance

The pair, who first met back when both were students at Christchurch’s Cashmere College, reconnected 15 years later while Chrystal was on holiday in Auckland in March.

Loading the player…

The Bachelor NZ’s Chrystal Chenery answers quick questions

It’s hard to believe that just six months ago, Chrystal had deemed hooking up with Ricky, a successful real estate agent and a regular on Auckland’s party scene, completely out of the question.

“A relationship wasn’t even on my mind,” says the 31-year-old. “I didn’t think we’d be a good match.”

But fate intervened. Chrystal was set to return to Australia’s Gold Coast, where she was then living and teaching yoga. Her bags were packed and her taxi was booked, but the beautiful blonde had overlooked her departure time and was left stranded at Auckland Airport when she missed her flight.

“Ricky offered me a place to stay just to help me out and that’s when a couple of extra nights in Auckland turned into a two-week stay,” tells Chrystal.”

“Initially, we were just friends but the more we hung out, the more I got to know the real Ricky and I really liked what I saw.”

“Who knows what might have happened if I did actually get on that flight. One minute we were mates, the next we were roomies and the next thing I knew we were down at the beach in Pauanui together and I really wanted him to kiss me,” Chrystal reveals.

While Chrystal’s controversial run on the first season of The Bachelor polarised the public, Ricky says he loves his gorgeous girlfriend’s outspokenness.

“She always speaks her mind and that’s something I love about her,” tells Ricky. “She can be very upfront but she’s also a real sweetheart.”

The pair are now living together in Ricky’s home. While they admit moving in happened sooner than expected, sharing a luxurious love pad in Mission Bay has only strengthened their relationship. “Ricky’s the first guy I’ve dated that I’ve actually seen a future with – and I couldn’t be happier,” says Chrystal.

Loading the player…

Chrystal best moments

Related stories


Get Woman’s Day home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 29% on a magazine subscription.