If you're hoping that the exit of Nathan Riggs earlier this fall on Grey's Anatomy means that the door is open for another suitor to enter into Meredith Grey's life once the show finally returns next month, then this might not be the news you're looking for.

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Krista Vernoff opened up about Mer's (Ellen Pompeo) love life—or lack thereof—now that Nathan (former series regular Martin Henderson) has left Seattle behind for the sunnier skies of Los Angeles with his presumed-dead fianceé, Megan. And while she remains hopeful that the widow will find love again, it doesn't sound like she's got any immediate plans to make that happen.

Grey's Anatomy 300th Episode, Ellen Pompeo

ABC

"What is next for Meredith in terms of a love life remains to be seen," Vernoff said.. "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."

Following the shocking and painful loss of her soul mate Derek (Patrick Dempsey) at the end of season 11, Mer had a one-night stand with Dr. Thorpe (remember him?) before connecting with Nathan over their shared loss. For Vernoff, the connection with Nathan served a vital purpose of opening Meredith back up to the idea that she could care about someone else again. "But that doesn't necessarily mean that person is your person for life," she added. "One of the things that I love that we do on the show is show this very human journey."

With a 300th episode that saw Meredith win the coveted Harper Avery Award thanks to a refined dedication to her life's passion—her work—it's clear that, whether or not romance comes, it's not what defines the character any longer. (If it ever even truly did.) "Love is possible for Meredith 100 percent," Vernoff said, "but it's not her focal point."

Are you hoping Meredith finds love again or are you just fine with watching her be a boss in the O.R. instead? Sound off in the comments below!

Grey's Anatomy returns on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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