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Grey’s Anatomy does romance well, but sometimes it can get a bit messy. The love lives of its characters can get complicated, and that often leads them to stray from their partners.

Many of the characters have cheated on their partner with another character on the show. But has Meredith ever cheated? Fans of the show aren’t necessarily in agreement. Let’s dive into whether or not Meredith can really be considered faithful. 

‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Meredith’s relationship with Derek

Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey
Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey | Michael Desmond/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Patrick Dempsey played Dr. Derek Shepherd, also known as “McDreamy.” At first, Derek is the object of Meredith’s affection. Eventually, the two enter into a relationship and later get married. 

Everything seemed to be idyllic between the happy couple. While they had their ups and downs, it was a depiction of a healthy, loving relationship. That all changed in season 11. 

That’s when Derek died on the show, shocking fans everywhere. It was a difficult call for the people behind the series, but from a creative standpoint, it opened up a lot of possibilities. According to People, at the time of his death, series creator Shonda Rimes released a statement: 

“Derek Shepherd is and will always be an incredibly important character – for Meredith, for me and for the fans. I absolutely never imagined saying goodbye to our ‘Mcdreamy.

Patrick Dempsey’s performance shaped Derek in a way that I know we both hope became a meaningful example – happy, sad, romantic, painful and always true – of what young women should demand from modern love.” 

The pair’s love may have been extinguished, but the show lived on. 

Some fans disagree over whether Meredith’s relationship with Derek was considered cheating


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Grey’s fans took to Reddit to discuss whether there was anyone on the show who hadn’t cheated on their partner. When Meredith’s name came up, this led to some disagreement. 

One fan noted that Meredith was the only person to remain faithful to all of her partners, saying that the only time she did anything close to cheating was when she was with Finn. The poster clarified that the two weren’t exclusive, however: 

“Finn definitely wanted more, but Meredith chose to keep it casual, and he respected that.” 

Another person pointed out that Meredith may be more guilty than some believed due to Derek’s relationship status at the time they were dating: 

“She never cheated on her partner (Finn even admitted they never said they were exclusive), but she slept with Derek knowing he was back with Addison, so IMO that makes her a cheater too”

So, to answer the question of whether Meredith’s ever cheated: technically no, she isn’t – but there’s a grey area (no pun intended). 

Meredith’s love interests since Derek’s death

Difficult as it may seem, the show soldiered on after Derek’s demise. Meredith picked up the pieces and has dated several other people since his departure from the series. E! Online compiled a list of some of her most memorable romantic partners. Here are a few of them from Meredith’s post-McDreamy life: 

  • Will Thorpe. This was Meredith’s first romance following Derek’s death. It eventually ended, though he said he’d wait for her. 
  • Nathan Riggs. These two had a fling that ended when his fiance (thought to be deceased) returned. 
  • John. Played by Josh Radnor in a guest-starring role, this character had a decent date with Meredith until he sabotaged it with an insensitive comment about single mothers. What looked to have potential turned out to be a one-shot deal, and the character was never heard from again. 

Meredith certainly dates a lot of people on the show, but her record of being faithful is good for the most part. Fans are definitely still looking for her to find her next version of Derek.