Meredith Grey is synonymous with complicated relationships. Since her start on Grey’s Anatomy, she has been entangled with men to the point that they have consumed her every thought. This is not to say that Meredith is romance-crazy, but she does jump into relationships with everything she has. Whether the romance is with someone she has been with for years, or someone she just met recently, Meredith will have strong emotions about them.
Meredith has had her share of relationships over the years with various levels of success. While her relationship with Derek Shepherd certainly provided the show with many storylines and a whole lot of drama, there have been other suitors over the years who did not fare as well. Out of all the other relationships, which were the best matches with her? Most of these romances didn't last long, and as such, have been forgotten by fans. However, there were some men other than Derek Shepherd with whom Meredith actually could have had a shot at happiness.
Meredith Gre is certainly a complicated woman, and it takes a special person to be with her. The good news is, Grey’s Anatomy has had a plethora of people who would be a good match for her. Various medical staff from Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital have shown that they would be a great fit for Meredith. The only question remains is, will she ever give them a chance?
Here are All Meredith’s Romances Ranked (And 12 Characters She Should Give A Shot).
20 Give A Shot - Atticus Lincoln
When a new character is introduced to Grey’s Anatomy, one question always enters fan’s minds – who will they end up with first? While Linc has not directly been seriously involved with anyone else at Grey Sloan Memorial yet, it seems inevitable. Based on previews of the current season, it seems that Meredith could be the lucky one.
Following Derek’s departure, Meredith has struggled to jump back in to the dating scene. Perhaps Linc is her first chance at finding happiness again. Linc and Meredith have presently got as far as having lunch dates together, but she has yet to give him a true shot. If a man is nice enough to pursue superhero prosthetics for children, he may be exactly what she needs.
19 Romance - Steve Murphy
Meredith’s first foray into brief encounters certainly did not go as she expected. In fact, it wound up with her treating him as a patient. Following her first break-up with Derek, Meredith started searching for a new McSomeone to spend time with. She met Steve Murphy at a bar and wound up taking him back to her house for a fun evening.
Ultimately, Meredith decided that she would never see him again-- until he showed up at Seattle Grace claiming that he had not been able to “calm down” since their night together. While it turned out that Steve had a brain tumor, this is likely not a relationship that Meredith likes being reminded of.
18 Give A Shot - Preston Burke
While backstage antics prevented him from continuing his run on Grey’s Anatomy, Preston Burke did have the potential to have relationships with other people besides Cristina. In fact, one of the initial storylines for the show was for Meredith and Burke to become a couple. While this never came to pass, it is possible to see how they could work together.
Cristina and Burke may have been a great couple on paper, but she did not possess all the qualities he was looking for in a mate. For instance, Cristina had no interest in any of the romantic elements of planning a wedding. On the other hand, Meredith would be game to take part in romantic moments in a relationship. It may be difficult to imagine now, but there was great potential here for a relationship.
17 Romance - George O'Malley
Out of all the storylines that Grey’s Anatomy tried out during their first few seasons, it was the brief encounter between Meredith and George that upset fans the most. Following two years of George having a “secret crush” on Meredith, it seemed that his dreams would finally come true. When Meredith came home realizing that her relationship with Derek was over, George revealed his feelings for her. In a moment of vulnerability and wanting comfort, Meredith succumbed to George’s advances and they got together.
However, Meredith immediately started to cry which insulted George so much that he stormed out. In fact, he stopped speaking to her for several weeks. Considering that their fling almost destroyed a friendship, it certainly should not be considered a success.
16 Give A Shot - Nurse Tyler Christian
All of Meredith’s successful relationships have been with doctors, who even Meredith will agree have sizable egos. Perhaps switching gears to someone with a different profession would result in a great relationship for her. Nurse Tyler has been shown to be both fierce and gentle, which are qualities that Derek had. Maybe this means they would be great together?
The only real hang up is that Tyler has not been visible on the show in several seasons. With all the changes at Grey Sloan, he was lost in the shuffle as a character. Perhaps a relationship with Meredith is exactly what he needs for a triumphant return.
15 Romance - Andrew DeLuca
While there are likely some rules against dating an ex-boyfriend of a estranged-half-sister, Meredith should be considering every option around her. Andrew endured a very complicated relationship with Maggie Pierce. In fact, there where many parallels with Meredith and Derek, and it was an on-again-off-again tdynamic. Even though Maggie was unable to decide on her feelings for him, he turned out to be a very formidable partner.
DeLucas kissed Meredith and even confessed his feelings for her this year. He made it clear he is an option for her, and she promised to think it over. If Meredith is looking for love then she should look under every stone, even if it means being able to compare notes on how he kisses with her sister.
14 Give A Shot - Owen Hunt
Speaking of someone that would be considered off limits, Cristina’s ex-husband may be on that list. However, there is no denying how compatible Meredith is with former Owen Hunt.
Considering that Owen has been married to both her best friend and her sister-in-law, this would certainly be an awkward relationship to pursue, yet there are things that make it appealing. Owen is a new father of an adopted son, and Meredith is currently single with three kids. While neither would want to admit it, they could each use the support of someone. Despite his many failed relationships, Owen is a good man. Each of his relationships have ended as a result of poor timing – perhaps now is the time for Meredith to look at him as an option?
13 Romance - John
This is not the first time Meredith has allowed fate to decide her relationships. However, it is the first time in a long time that she dated someone outside of the medical field. It did not go poorly at all – in fact, there is still an opportunity for it to start up again.
Meredith met John after being set up on a blind date, and they hit it off instantly. The date did wind up going sour after John mentioned the other single mothers he has dated, and their desire to get married again. Meredith has not considered marriage since Derek passed away, and this upset her enough to leave the date.
12 Give A Shot - Jackson Avery
While Jackson Avery's relationship with Meredith has been entirely professional during their time together, this option would not hurt her to explore. Both doctors have experienced heartbreak, and both have experienced loss. Both even come from privileged families with an incredible history in medicine. His step-father even dated her mother! Meredith and Jackson have a lot in common, and it is possible that even they haven’t realized how compatible they are.
Jackson has proved himself to be a loyal partner before, which is what Meredith needs. She has been through enough drama in her life and could benefit from some quiet time.
11 Romance - Will Thorpe
Will Thorpe had the most unfortunate timing out of any of Meredith’s relationships. Derek’s passing was a very difficult time for her, and she jumped into a relationship before she was ready. Following some short dates and spending the night together, Meredith kicked Will out pretty quickly.
Will obviously had feelings for Meredith and pursued her, but he was not aware of what her personal situation was, though he took the difficulty in stride and reacted well. After learning what Meredith was going through, he let her know that she “was worth waiting for.” Will’s genuinely nice reaction shows that he could have been a good partner for her, but just had unfortunate timing.
10 Give A Shot - Mark Sloan
Meredith was with McDreamy for several years, but she never got the opportunity to be with his more mischievous counterpart. Though they were involved in the love quadrangle with Derek and Addison, there was never a desire to pursue a relationship together – perhaps this was a missed opportunity.
Despite all his faults in relationships and past indiscretions, Mark did have the capability to be a devoted partner. He truly loved both Addison and Lexie, and would have been a loyal and loving husband to either of them. Pursuing a relationship with Mark would have spelt the end of any relationship with Derek, but knowing that life is short, Meredith should have spent more time with Mark while she had the chance.
9 Romance - Nathan Riggs
When Meredith started to consider life after Derek, it was challenging for her. Thankfully, she had someone who understood loss to help her through the transition. Nathan was also dealing with his ex-wife’s disappearance and knows what it is like to miss someone. This helped them bond, but it ultimately also drove them apart.
As Meredith’s first actual relationship following Derek’s passing, her bond with Nathan was understandably awkward at first. It took them a while to get comfortable, but when they finally did, they were great together. Well, until Riggs’ ex reappeared from out of the blue. If Derek had magically come back to life, Meredith would have left Riggs in a heartbeat. While she was crushed when he left her, she did understand the position he was in.
8 Give A Shot - Matthew Taylor
Meredith’s “dark and twisted” outlook on line has sometimes led to her making questionable relationship decisions. While everyone should be trusted to trust their instincts, perhaps Meredith would have benefit from someone she never would have considered before.
Matthew Taylor was April’s uber-religious partner following her time with Jackson. He was a loving and devoted fiancé to April, and would have treated her spectacularly. However, she didn't truly love him and wanted to be with Jackson. While this was certainly heart-breaking for Matthew, it did leave him on the market. Meredith may have renounced her faith in God – which would undoubtedly be an issue – but they always say opposites attract.
7 Romance - Finn Dandridge
If there is one person who can be considered “the one that got away,” it would be Finn. As he was Meredith’s only successful relationship outside of Derek, fans have been clamoring for Finn’s return to Grey’s Anatomy since his last appearance in season two. The veterinarian gave McDreamy a run for his money. Finn and Meredith’s relationship had everything going for it with only one exception – he wasn’t Derek Shepherd.
Finn would have been prepared to give Meredith everything she wanted: a stable relationship with a responsible adult. He was the kind of person who brought soup to her sick roommates. However, Meredith made the choice to pursue Derek instead. While she certainly doesn’t regret her decision, she must wonder what life would have been like with him.
6 Give A Shot - Dylan Young
Even the briefest encounters can provide a glimpse into what could have been. Meredith Grey has certainly seen some tough times throughout Grey’s Anatomy, but putting her hand on live ammunition was certainly one of the worst. While many of her friends tried to save her, it was a member of the bomb squad who was her protector. Unfortunately, he would not survive the situation, and they never for the pursue their relationship.
The connection between Meredith and Dylan was palpable enough to cut with a scalpel. While Meredith would certainly wish for Derek to return to her first, Dylan Young would likely be a close second so she could see that relationship through.
5 Give A Shot - Denny Duquette
Out of all the other men on this list, picturing Meredith in a relationship with Denny Duquette may be the most difficult. Not just because he has passed away, but because it is impossible to separate him from Izzie Stevens. However, imagine if Meredith was the one to take on Denny’s case instead of Izzie – perhaps Denny would have pursued her instead.
If Denny had spent more time with Meredith, then she could have become as entranced as Izzie. While the story likely would have ended tragically either way, Meredith could have benefited from feeling this type of love. On another note, Meredith would not have been crazy enough to cut Denny’s LVAD wire. Perhaps this would have even saved Denny, and their relationship could have avoided tragedy.
4 Give A Shot - Cristina Yang
It makes the most sense that Meredith would give her “person” a shot at a relationship before anyone else. While Cristina and Meredith’s relationship is currently platonic, there is no one that she has ever bonded with better. Their mutual understanding of each other’s emotions and personalities made them fast friends in a competitive internship. Not to mention that the amount of pain they went through during their time at Seattle Grace made them incredibly close.
Both Cristina and Meredith are strong and independent women, but they would both benefit from being in a relationship with someone they can both fully trust. The only relationship they were able to maintain throughout their careers was their friendship together. Perhaps this means that taking it to the next level would be best for both.
3 Give A Shot - Alex Karev
As the only other original intern left on Grey’s Anatomy, fans have been able to see Alex Karev grow from an “evil spawn” to a genuinely good man. His character arc has been very satisfying for longtime fans. Even though he has finally found happiness with Jo, fans can’t help but wonder what their relationship would be like.
Meredith and Alex have been through some unspeakable pain together, and have said goodbye to many mutual friends. Enduring so much has brought them closer together, but they have never shown romantic feelings for each other. However, they may actually be a great fit for each other due to their years of friendship and support.
2 Romance - Derek Shepherd
Out of every relationship that has existed on Grey’s Anatomy, Meredith and Derek are the pinnacle that the others should strive for. While they were not without their own issues, their love was on a different level. Derek and Meredith understood each other, and their love was able to triumph over any obstacle in front of them. In fact, they overcame more than any couple on the show. Between drownings, shootings, losses, and plane crashes, Mer and Der saw it all. Unfortunately, the only thing they were not able to overcome was an oncoming vehicle.
While this list has outlined people that Meredith should give a shot to, no one will ever truly be able to replace McDreamy. Derek’s passing was understandably the hardest thing that Meredith has had to go through, as she lost the person who had her heart.
1 Give a shot - herself
Meredith’s life after Derek has been a challenge, but she has so much to live for outside of relationships. She has been able to build a life full of happy children, friends and a great career. Despite relationship troubles being the main center of Grey’s Anatomy, perhaps it is time for Meredith to spend some more time alone.
Since joining Seattle Grace’s internship program, Meredith has spent very little time single. After enduring so much tragedy, some more time off from complicated relationships may be what the doctor ordered. There may be many options for relationships for Meredith to pursue, but it might be more in her favor to look the other way and continue finding happiness on her own.
Who would you most like to see Meredith with on Grey's Anatomy? Let us know in the comments!