Sorry, Grey's Anatomy fans, but it's true: Meredith and Derek are going to have a long-distance relationship. And they might not be the only couple in jeopardy as a result.

Although the winter premiere picks up with both Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek (Patrick Dempsey) living in Seattle, it won't be long before Derek defects to D.C. to take a job with the Obama administration. So how will Meredith cope with being, in essence, a single working mom? Enter Alex (Justin Chambers), who finds himself stepping up even more in his role as Meredith's new Person. "It comes off somewhat begrudgingly, but underneath it all, I think he's really happy to have that connection," Chambers tells

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But Jo (Camilla Luddington) is less enthused about Alex and Meredith's strengthening bond. And perhaps for good reason! "I guess you could call it an emotional affair in a sense," Chambers teases. "It has come between [Alex and Jo]."

Are you surprised that Derek's really leaving for D.C., and do you think Meredith and Derek can handle a long-distance marriage? Sound off in the comments!

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