There are long running TV shows, and then there's Grey's Anatomy. ABC's medical drama is currently in the midst of its whopping 14th season on the network, and is showing no signs of slowing down. And with a spinoff being developed, we're going to be watching the surgeons of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital likely until the title character decides to call it quits. Meredith has been through some serious ups and downs in the past few years, especially since Derek's death in Season 11. While she had a connection with Nathan Riggs, he departed the show, once again leaving audiences wondering if Meredith will ever be able to find love after McDreamy. Showrunner Krista Vernoff recently addressed these concerns, saying:
What is next for Meredith in terms of a love life remains to be seen. I believe that romance and love are always a possibility, especially after we've lost the loves of our life. We have to evolve out of our immediate grief. I believe that immediate grief takes more than a couple of years. I don't want to ever short-shrift the people who have gone through the death of a spouse and say you just move on, or you just move on with the first person.
It looks like the folks over at Grey's Anatomy are treading lightly, allowing Meredith to have a more gradual, and therefore realistic, journey back into the world of dating. She's always maintained that Derek was her one true love, and never truly opened herself up to anyone since his death. She had a brief fling with Dr. Thorpe that resulted in her kicking him out of the house the morning after, before the shift turned to Martin Henderson's Nathan Riggs. Their shared grief bonded the two surgeons, and extra drama was added once Maggie admitted her attraction toward Riggs to her sister. But with Henderson suddenly leaving the series, all of this drama and character development feels for naught.
That being said, Krista Vernoff's comments EW do make sense. With Meredith once again free of any romantic ties, her grieving process feels more authentic. It would stand to reason that she'd have a difficult time being romantic with someone other than McDreamy, with three seasons having passed without her truly moving on. This also honors Patrick Dempsey's signature character, who was the male lead for over a decade. Some fans wondered if Grey's could survive without McDreamy, although star and producer Ellen Pompeo recently admitted that Cristina (Sanra Oh)'s departure felt even more risky at the time.