‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Should Meredith and Nathan Stayed Together?

Grey’s Anatomy kicks back off with season 16 at the end of the month, and that’s got us thinking about little else. While last season’s finale was filled with juicy cliffhangers, it’s fun to look back on past seasons as we gear up for new storylines. And what’s more juicy than our favorite doctor’s love life?

Recently in a thread on Reddit, viewers brought up a discussion about Meredith’s relationship with Nathan Riggs, the cardiothoracic surgeon introduced in season 12. Meredith originally tried to keep the relationship platonic, but the pair ultimately bonded over their lost loved ones and she gave in to her feelings.

Their relationship came to a close when his lost fiancĂ©e, Megan Hunt, was found after going missing overseas years earlier. The question remains – should Meredith and Nathan have stayed together, or was he right to go back to Megan?

Meredith and Nathan worked well together

Ellen Pompeo and Martin Henderson
Ellen Pompeo and Martin Henderson | Richard Cartwright/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Riggs was Meredith’s first serious relationship post-Derek. As such, it would have been easy for fans to hate him right off the bat, especially since it seemed to happen so quickly. Instead, fans generally like them together.

They had chemistry on screen and their storylines worked extremely well together, both having gone through the loss of a loved one and trying to move on from that. It was clear that he was the right guy to help Meredith get her back into a steady relationship after the loss of McDreamy.

Remind me why they split up?

Riggs was engaged to Owen’s sister, Megan, years earlier. While in the army, Megan went missing after a helicopter she had been on was assumed to have crashed in bad weather conditions. This caused Owen to despise Riggs because, in Owen’s eyes, Riggs should have taken her seat on the chopper.

When Riggs arrived at Grey Sloan, he immediately had chemistry with Meredith but Meredith refused to reciprocate any feelings, in solidarity with Owen. Eventually, Owen and Riggs reconciled and Meredith let herself fall for Riggs.

In true Grey’s fashion, however, their relationship was thrown for a loop when Megan was found overseas. Riggs went running back to her, at the insistence of Meredith. She told him to go and said that if Derek were back, she would “already be gone.”

After some back-and-forth, Riggs ultimately decided he wanted to restart his life with Megan. He went overseas and brought home her son, who had been separated from her when she was flown back to the U.S. This convinced Megan that Riggs was truly committed to her, and they went to start their lives together, away from Seattle.

Meredith grew from their breakup

It was Meredith who told Riggs that Megan had been found. It was Meredith who convinced him that Megan was worth proving his love for. Why had she tried so hard to make Riggs go after Megan? She saw herself in him.

Meredith knew that if Derek walked through the doors of Grey Sloan, she would’ve run right into his arms and away from Riggs immediately. Since they shared the same backstory, she felt compelled to remind him that what he wanted was the life he could’ve had this whole time with Megan.

While fans agree that Meredith and Riggs were good together, the consensus seems to be that the way their story unfolded was a perfect bookend to her coping with Derek’s death. She was able to get a little closure by helping Riggs reunite with his lost love in a way she would have loved to reunite with hers, while still understanding that it would never be able to happen for herself.

While this particular love story has long since ended, Grey’s Anatomy is back on September 26.