Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles - 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, look at each other and smile. And like, they would laugh at like, jokes that didn't even make sense, or I didn't even understand.