It's been three and a half seasons since Derek Shephard's (Patrick Dempsey) tragic death on Grey's Anatomy and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) is finally ready for her next great love, whether you like it or not. When the Shondaland drama returns to ABC on Thursday, Jan. 17, she'll no longer date around and instead, find herself in one epic love triangle with Deluca (Giacomo Gianniotti) and Link (Chris Carmack).

"Her dating adventure has boiled down to [that] triangle," showrunner Krista Vernoff told TVLine. "The question this season is not 'Will Meredith Grey find love again,' but 'With whom will she find love?'"

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The stage was already set in the midseason finale with DeLuca admitting he had no regrets about their surprise kiss at Jo (Camilla Luddington) and Karev's (Justin Chambers) wedding, also revealing that he wanted to explore whatever's brewing between them. Unsure how to react to that bombshell, Meredith briefly shut him down before ending up trapped with her would-be suitor in an elevator in the middle of a huge storm. According to Vernoff, that intimate time together will leave them "with a deeper understanding of each other."

That's not to say you should count Link out just yet. Grey Sloan's dreamy Ortho God is still very much in the picture and will also spend some quality time with Meredith while vying for her heart.

"In Episode 10, Meredith will get to know Link better," Vernoff teased. "She gets to know DeLuca better in [Episode 9, aka the midseason premiere], and she gets to know Link better in 10."

With two hunky doctors competing for Meredith's affections in the coming episodes, it's safe to say her next great romance is imminent. Between Link and DeLuca, which one do you think she'll choose?

Grey's Anatomy returns Thursday, Jan. 17 at 8/7c on ABC.

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Giacomo Gianniotti, Ellen Pompeo and Chris Carmack, <em>Grey's Anatomy</em>Giacomo Gianniotti, Ellen Pompeo and Chris Carmack, Grey's Anatomy