While the Grey’s Anatomy firefighter spinoff is preparing to bring a new level of heat to the action, things certainly aren’t cooling off over on the original series. There may even be a possible new love interest for the beloved main character, Meredith Grey.

“What is next for Meredith in terms of a love life remains to be seen,” Grey’s executive producer Krista Vernoff told Entertainment Weekly. However, she added a ray of hope by saying, “I believe that romance and love are always a possibility, especially after we’ve lost the loves of our life.”

Referring to the devastating passing of Derek Shepherd (played by actor Patrick Dempsey), she explained, “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 Shepherd’s death — SPOILERS AHEAD FOR ANYONE WHO’S BEHIND! — Meredith attempted to move on by having a (cringe-worthy) one-night stand with William Thorpe (played by Scott Elrod), as well as a casual relationship with Nathan Riggs (portrayed by Martin Henderson).

“I believe that Nathan served a beautiful purpose in Meredith’s life, which was to open her heart again and show her that she could care about someone again,” Vernoff told EW. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean that person is your person for life. One of the things that I love that we do on the show is show this very human journey.”

While that relationship wasn’t meant to be, the executive producer says that “love is possible for Meredith 100 percent, but it’s not her focal point.”

We’ll be able to see for ourselves what’s next for Meredith when Grey’s Anatomy returns Thursday, January 18, at 8pm ET on ABC.

Do you want to see Meredith fall in love again on Grey’s Anatomy? Let us know @BritandCo!

(photo via ABC/Bob D’Amico)