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  • - Everybody in the office thinks

  • that we have like, crushes on each other.

  • - Everyone in the comments on the videos too.

  • I don't have feelings for Merle.

  • (intense drum beat)

  • You wanted to be single for a long time,

  • and I didn't wanna cross a line between

  • coworker and--

  • - No.

  • No.

  • No.

  • I had rules.

  • And the rules were, I need to be single for a year.

  • - Yeah, and my rule--

  • - And no your rule was I'm going to marry

  • this woman someday and I will do anything

  • in my power to make it happen.

  • (pensive music)

  • At the beginning of 2019 I was coming out of

  • a three and a half year relationship.

  • I was about to embark on this huge journey

  • from the BuzzFeed office in New York

  • where I had been for three years,

  • to the BuzzFeed office in L.A.

  • Moving to L.A. was like immersing

  • myself in everything new, my family's not here,

  • all my friends I've had forever aren't here.

  • One friend I had here with me

  • that was a saving grace is Rachel.

  • - Merle coming out to L.A., newly single.

  • The best way I could describe it

  • is she was like an unbridled stallion.

  • She just was goin' out on the weekdays, living it up.

  • She was kind of like in a new City,

  • she just wanted to be meeting new people,

  • going to new places, and not getting involved

  • in anything serious.

  • That was like, the farthest thing from her mind.

  • - Before Merle came along my dating life

  • was quite eclectic.

  • I was either not making myself available to people,

  • or I was just throwing myself

  • at people who were clearly not compatible for me.

  • - It wasn't clear to me at first,

  • that he was desperate to find love.

  • Until he started making projects

  • over and over again about finding love.

  • And people around the office wondered

  • why is he using the companies resources to find love?

  • - When I watched Aria date a couple people,

  • it was clear that he was very romantic,

  • and loving, and giving.

  • But it never like sparked.

  • - So, after having dabbled in the dating world for a bit,

  • at the start of last year,

  • I decided to just focus my energy on a personal challenge.

  • And if you haven't seen, or haven't heard

  • me talk about it a hundred times in previous videos,

  • I trained and fought in an MMA fight last year.

  • But then of course during this period,

  • is when Merle strolled into the BuzzFeed office here in L.A.

  • (pensive music)

  • - When I moved to the L.A. office we had a weekly meeting.

  • My whole video team would come together.

  • - The only first interactions we had

  • were in the team meetings, the team check-ins.

  • - Yeah, and this man would be flustered,

  • huffing in and out of the meeting, hi.

  • - I had training.

  • - Oh sorry gotta go I'm gonna be late.

  • Oh I can't even make it.

  • Or you'd just write in the group message

  • and be like, "Sorry I had another training today,

  • "it was the only day I could do it."

  • And I remember thinking, he's a liar.

  • He just doesn't wanna go to this meeting.

  • I just thought he like, this really aloof,

  • too self involved, egomaniac.

  • Which also, not totally incorrect.

  • - She saw how cute I was at a few of the meetings,

  • and so she wanted to see more of it

  • so she was very upset and disappointed.

  • - I did think he was cute.

  • - Slowly, you know, we'd message each other

  • over Slack, our in company messaging system.

  • Merle couldn't get enough of me at the meetings.

  • - No. - She wanted to see more.

  • So she messaged me over Slack.

  • - He's a good producer so I wanted some help.

  • - [Aria] At first it was more about work stuff

  • but then slowly we'd throw in some

  • banter every now and then.

  • And there was some clear, at least digital

  • chemistry between us both.

  • - Then I dropped a casual suggestion,

  • "Maybe you wanna come sit with the team."

  • And this man came up and then became

  • a permanent installment.

  • - Wasn't entirely because of you.

  • Because Megan went on sick leave.

  • - Me and Aria used to sit together

  • on this one couch, away from our desks.

  • I left to have a surgery done,

  • so I was out of work for like a month.

  • And during that time, because I wasn't there,

  • Aria chose to go sit at his regular desk.

  • And that's where Merle sits.

  • And so really, I brought them together.

  • - So then we enter the phase of Merle and Aria

  • talking 12 hours every day, all day.

  • (pensive music)

  • - I sit right next to them,

  • and I watched this flirtation blossom.

  • And it was pretty adorable, but also annoying.

  • - And it was just like.

  • (snapping hands together)

  • All, day, long.

  • - It was so easy to just like,

  • talk about genuinely any topic.

  • We would joke about murder, horror films,

  • it just seemed like we had a lot in common.

  • - First time I really saw the tension

  • between Aria and Merle was when

  • Aria and I were filming the follow up video

  • to his MMA video where we kinda talked

  • about the behind the scenes, and (beep).

  • They were so flirty.

  • - Jack was seeing a lot of sparks between us,

  • no idea what he saw, he's a bit of a perv.

  • (laughs)

  • You are.

  • - Kick rocks, (beep).

  • At that point I was like, they're gonna date.

  • Like I'd never seen Aria act like that.

  • - This interview ended with a hug that I thought

  • would end any romantic interactions between us.

  • (laughs)

  • - I remember hugging each of the interviewees

  • after their interview.

  • And so I said to Merle, you know--

  • (beep)

  • It's something kinda weird.

  • Because I had both of them here,

  • and I hugged both of them afterwards.

  • - So I have to hug you?

  • (laughing)

  • I don't think I've ever hugged you before.

  • - I don't think we've hugged each other before.

  • - Let's get this awkward moment in history.

  • I'm like okay, here's your hug.

  • And I go to hug this man and he clings onto me

  • for dear life like moss.

  • Jesus Christ.

  • - Wow you smell like--

  • - You got a little hand hold.

  • (laughing)

  • You practically choked me out.

  • - Behind the camera I was just like--

  • 'Cause it was just so like, tense between the two.

  • You could tell that they had the hots for each other.

  • And I even told Aria as soon as we finished that video,

  • I was like, "What's goin' between you two?"

  • And he denied it, he's like,

  • "Yo, no."

  • Like, "We're just friends."

  • - I remember I told Jack,

  • "She's a coworker, I, you know, I won't do that."

  • - I don't believe that.

  • (laughing)

  • I don't believe that at all.

  • You were probably like, "Really?

  • "Was she blushing?"

  • (laughing)

  • "Let's look at the footage again."

  • (laughing)

  • - And I was like, "Do you guys hang out?"

  • He's like, "Yeah, sometimes we'll stay late

  • "at work together 'til like 10 PM."

  • I'm like--

  • (pensive music)

  • - I stay really late sometimes,

  • when there's a lot of work and I started realizing

  • that Merle and Aria were also staying late.

  • - They would work late.

  • And it would actually just be them

  • hanging out until like 11 PM.

  • And maybe getting like, 30 minutes worth of work done.

  • - These after hour hangouts kind of,

  • now that I look back at them, were basically pseudo-dates.

  • - I remember those nights,

  • there were like these brief periods

  • where it felt like time froze, and it was just us,

  • in the office enjoying each others company.

  • And, it was wonderful.

  • I've never openly and actively pursued

  • someone the way I did with you.

  • And it was because we were just so open

  • about the fact we were flirting with each other.

  • (laughs)

  • - I remember openly addressing the fact

  • that we flirted with each other,

  • and Aria was like shocked by that.

  • First I told him that I think he flirts with everyone.

  • - I don't think I'm that much of a flirt.

  • - Aria is a (beep) whore.

  • - I, at one point was like,

  • "Well me and you flirt all the time."

  • And he was kinda like, oh my god, yeah I guess so.

  • And so I feel like that sort of

  • transitioned us into this newfangled territory

  • where it was like okay we're openly flirting

  • with each other.

  • Obviously we're interested in each other,

  • but I was still genuinely dead set on doing my own thing,

  • not getting involved with anyone.

  • But Aria, he was obviously pursuing me.

  • - I realized that Aria had an infatuation

  • with Merle when they showed up

  • on set for a video that I was ADing.

  • They were awful together, to be around.

  • Like Aria's got a type of energy just in general.

  • Which you can kind of find the frequency

  • and understand it.

  • But it was off the charts around her.

  • Annoying, in fact.

  • And I'm not afraid to say that.

  • - There were rumors flying all over the office,

  • and the internet, that Aria and I were together.

  • - I kept seeing them together around the office,

  • and I was like oh my God I think they're a thing.

  • - From my desk, I really see everything.

  • If there's a love beginning, I usually know.

  • And I'm just saying, I saw a lot.

  • - I feel like I was able to really hone in

  • on Aria and Merle's relationship,

  • because I met my fiancee at work

  • and it was just the same exact thing

  • was happening in front of my eyes.

  • - I messaged Aria and said, basically,

  • "You guys are a thing, it's obvious, everybody knows."

  • He says something like,

  • "Oh we're just two professional coworkers."

  • And then I told him that that's exactly

  • how my girlfriend Cedee and I talked, six years ago.

  • (laughing)

  • - One of the big days where I realized

  • how special you were to me.

  • - When you fell in love with me first?

  • - No, when I realized how special you are.

  • It was the day we went and filmed

  • that road trip video with Jack.

  • - Boy, I was third wheelin' hard.

  • There were so many times where they would like,