Of all the great TV love stories, many people would say that Derek and Meredith are at the top of the list. From meeting each other and realizing that they both work at the same hospital to falling in love and having babies and all of the moments in between, they are the stuff that relationship dreams are made of.
Or are they? The truth is that when we take a closer look at this infamous couple, we realize that there are actually a lot of aspects of their relationship that don't make a lot of sense. We know that their relationship was never totally easy and that they experienced many problems, but there were so many arguments and tears and hurting hearts that it can be confusing to think about.
Fans of Grey's Anatomy mourned the loss of Derek and couldn't believe that the show would be going on without him. Even if we miss him and wish that he was still walking the halls of the hospital, we can't help but think that there are some things about the way that he treated Meredith that really aren't okay.
Was it really true love between Meredith and Derek? Here are 23 things about their relationship that just don't add up.
23 She's An Intern When They Meet So They Couldn't Actually Date
According to Bustle, Meredith couldn't really date Derek because she's an intern when they meet. The website quoted the showrunner Krista Vernoff who said, If you look at, for example, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) through the lens of Time’s Up and #MeToo, he was her boss, she was an intern, and she kept saying, ‘No, walk away from me.' And he kept pursuing her, and that is probably not a story we would tell on the show today, and it’s a beautiful reflection of the changing times."
This is definitely true, and we often forget the fact that Meredith was an intern when she and Derek met. So much has happened since that moment.
22 He Doesn't Always Support Her Ambition
Sure, we love McDreamy, but we have to admit that when we really think about it, Derek doesn't seem very supportive of Meredith's ambition. He often gets upset when she seems to be doing better at work than him.
For example, when Meredith and Derek go through a rough patch in season 11, she wants him to stop working so much and focus on their family more. He acts like she has to excel at her own job so it was a sacrifice worth making. Would a guy who is truly in love with his girl really say something like that?!
21 They Should Have Gotten Married For Real (Not Just With A Post-It)
Fans of Grey's Anatomy love the post-it marriage. We often talk about how romantic it was and how amazing it was that Derek and Meredith promised to always love each other.
But when we think about it, why didn't they get married for real? Sure, this might have been an adorable TV moment, but it wasn't the same as an actual wedding. Meredith and Derek didn't stand in front of their family and friends and experience the beautiful moment when you're pronounced man and wife. The post-it note marriage doesn't actually add up, and we have to wonder why they were so against a real wedding. It seems like they could have had a small wedding that would have made both of them happy.
20 She Never Gets To Know His Family
It's true that Meredith gets to know Derek's sister Amelia since she starts working at the hospital. But it's also true that Meredith never gets to know the rest of Derek's family.
This is something else about the TV couple that just doesn't add up. If they are so in love and if their relationship is going to last, wouldn't she want to spend time with his relatives? It seems like there could have been at least one time when Meredith and Derek's family hung out together. This is another reason why a real wedding would have made more sense. Meeting each other's families is a big part of any relationship.
19 He Surprises Her With A House (But What If She Didn't Like It?)
McDreamy is dreamy for a reason: he's a fan of the grand gesture. We tend to view Derek surprising Meredith with a house as a romantic move. It's one of those TV or movie moments that make us wish that our own boyfriends or husbands would do something like this.
But does this really add up? What if Meredith didn't like the house? What if she wanted something else? It seems like this is such a big decision. Chances are, many of us are thinking that this should have been a decision that Meredith and Derek made together as a couple. Choosing where to live is a massive deal.
18 He Has A Hidden Wife
When we think about how many dramatic moments have taken place in 15 seasons of Grey's Anatomy, we can forget about one major plot point: Derek actually still has a wife.
At the end of season one, we learn that Derek is married to a woman named Addison. This doesn't add up, either. Why would Derek pursue a relationship with Meredith if he was married? Wouldn't this be something that he would have to mention? It seems pretty important. He must have known that this would come up at some point and that he couldn't hide it forever. It's honestly hard to love him when we realize that he did this.
17 He Actually Chooses Addison Over Meredith For A Time
Derek is not only married but he actually chooses to work things out with Addison. This isn't something that a man who is really in love would do.
If he really thought that he and Meredith were for real, wouldn't he divorce Addison and move on? This really makes no sense and it's another aspect of Meredith and Derek's relationship that doesn't add up. When we think about our own love lives, we definitely want to be with a guy who will fight for us and want to be with us no matter what. We don't want him to go off and try to fix things with another girl. Talk about a girl's worst nightmare.
16 Meredith Dates Another Guy While They're On A Break
When Meredith and Derek are on a break in the early seasons of the show, Meredith dates a guy named Finn. He's cute and seems sweet and there's nothing wrong with his character. The only problem is that he's not Derek, and we really don't know why she would want to date someone who wasn't Derek.
If they were truly in love, why would Meredith be interested in going out with someone else? And why would they be on a break in the first place? We all know that when Ross and Rachel were on a break, it was basically a huge mess. Breaks never make any sense when you truly care.
15 Meredith Is Unsure About Committing To Him At First
In the early stages of a relationship, it's pretty awkward when one person isn't sure about committing. When Derek and Meredith first start dating each other, she's unsure about committing to him.
This seems weird because, well, he's McDreamy. You can't really turn down the chance to date McDreamy, can you?! They clearly get along and have a great relationship at the beginning. He tells her that he wants to be with her and yet it takes her a while to agree, and we're a bit confused about this. Sure, Meredith has a lot of baggage in her personal life, but Derek seems up for it.
14 He Takes A Job With Lots Of Work Travel After Saying He Would Work Less
Season 11 is when Derek and Meredith really struggle in their relationship. It's strange to watch because up until this point, we truly believe that they are the perfect couple.
Derek tells Meredith that he'll work less... and then he takes a job that involves a lot of travel to Washington. Sure, he says that he won't say yes at first, but that causes so much conflict and drama between the two of them that he ends up taking the job. This doesn't add up because if Derek was really The One for Meredith, he would absolutely keep his word and his promise to her.
13 They Go Through More Ups And Downs Than Most Couples
If we've fallen in love, then we know that love isn't the simplest thing in the world. Any couple will have some moments that they would rather not experience. And yet... it seems like Meredith and Derek have too many ups and downs, doesn't it?
When we think about Derek choosing Addison and Meredith dating another guy and all of the tension between them about who should work more and who should stay home with the kids, it's hard to imagine them even staying together at all. Their relationship is way too intense. And despite how dreamy and cute Derek is, that's really not enough to sustain them.
12 He Can Be A Bit Conceited At Times
Hey, he's not called McDreamy for nothing. The problem with Derek is that he's honestly kind of conceited. We don't love saying this because we have been a fan of their relationship for so long, but when we really think about him, we realize that he's a little bit too charming.
If we met Derek in real life, we would wonder if he could ever commit to us. He seems like the kind of guy who loves being the life of the party and the center of attention no matter where he is. Meredith is much more content to get to work quietly and without any fanfare. She doesn't focus on being liked, and that makes them very different.
11 They Go Through Too Many Periods Of Giving Each Other The Silent Treatment
Do we give our boyfriend the silent treatment when we're mad at him? Hopefully we don't because this can be pretty annoying to deal with, but sometimes we just can't help the way that we fight.
In Meredith and Derek's case, they often go through periods of not speaking to one another, and it's just plain weird. This is another aspect of their relationship that just doesn't add up. If they were really meant to be together, we feel like they would make more of an effort to communicate with each other. It's not always easy, but this is why people say that love is hard and that it hurts sometimes.
10 He Unfairly Says Once That She's Just Like Her Mom
Meredith is super concerned that she's going to turn out like her mom, who wasn't the nicest person (and that's an understatement). She doesn't want to be so hyper-focused on work that she doesn't have a personal life and she struggles with how to feel about her mom all of the time.
It's mean when Derek says that she's just like her mom in one scene. It's like he knew exactly what to say to really hurt her. It's unfair of him to say this because Meredith has already proven that she isn't anything like her mom (besides her work ethic and amazing accomplishments, that is). Meredith is a kind and loving person, and Derek should never have said this to her.
9 He Kisses Another Woman At Work In Washington
When Derek's new colleague Renee kisses him, he stops it... but honestly, in our minds, the damage has been done. It's hard to believe that Derek loves Meredith when we focus on this moment.
How many of us think that when a guy really loves a girl, he's going to choose her over anyone else that he could be with? All of us, right? We want Meredith to have a fairy tale romance, and unfortunately, Derek doesn't seem like he was really her Prince Charming. He should have never let that moment get to that point. He reminds us of a charming and flirty guy at a party who already has a girlfriend and yet he talks to every girl there.
8 She Gets A Lot Of Advice From Her BFF Cristina
It's definitely true that we often ask our best friends for dating advice, even when things are going well with our boyfriend. But something just doesn't add up about how many times Meredith seems to talk to her BFF Cristina about her relationship with Derek.
Sometimes getting too much relationship advice can mean that there are some really big problems in your relationship. If it was really smooth sailing between Derek and Meredith, she wouldn't have to constantly turn to her friend. We're sorry to say this because we love their friendship so much, but it doesn't make a lot of sense.
7 Their Relationship Seems Too Melodramatic
The funny thing about melodrama is that while it works on a TV show, it never works out in real life. If we picture these two characters dating IRL, we would have to say that they would never make it. They are way too melodramatic.
The truth is that when a relationship is good, it's super stable. Couples don't harbor resentment or fight for no reason at all. Even though we have always believed in the epic love story of Meredith and Derek, it's impossible not to admit that all of the crazy drama seems like way too much.
6 Their Relationship Is Only Great At The Very Beginning
Before Meredith learns that Derek is actually married, in the beginning, their relationship is really good. It seems like the kind of romance that everyone dreams of. It's rare and it's not something that we all get the chance to experience. That's why so many people watch Grey's Anatomy and wish that they could be Meredith and that they could be with McDreamy.
But if we think about it, their relationship is only good in the early days. As soon as Addison comes into the picture, Meredith and Derek never really recover. They're always dealing with problems (and most of the time, the problems are work-related).
5 If They're So In Love, Why Is Meredith So Dark And Twisty?
Fans have long since accepted that Meredith Grey is a tough woman who has gone through a lot. It seems like there is tragedy lurking around every corner and she is often pretty miserable.
We know that Meredith is "dark and twisty" and that a lot of the characters use this phrase to describe her. But this doesn't add up, either: if Meredith is really in love with Derek and she's happy with him, why is she so dark and twisty? When we fall in love, we honestly feel that our lives are so much happier. We experience some really positive changes. We never see that happening with Meredith.
4 It Doesn't Seem Like They Can Both Be Doing Well At Work At The Same Time
Do we ever see Derek and Meredith doing well at work at the exact same time? Not really because it always seems like Derek is upset with Meredith's work ethic and ambition and the fact that she wants to stay at the hospital for long hours.
We want to be with someone who supports our dreams and is an even bigger cheerleader than we could ever be. If that's not the case, why would we stay with someone?
Meredith is honestly such a tough cookie and she kicks butt at her job every single day. Why would she stay with a guy who doesn't seem to always support her?
3 Cristina Doesn't Approve Of Derek 100 Percent
Fans are familiar with one of the famous lines on Grey's Anatomy, when Cristina says to Meredith, "Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need. He’s very dreamy, but he’s not the sun. You are.”
She says this when Meredith is wondering if she should move to Washington because Derek's going to be working there. The problem is that we really want our best friend to approve of our partner and think that they're the best person for us to be with. If they don't feel that way, we would honestly question whether this is the right relationship for us. It doesn't seem like a good sign that Cristina doesn't always approve of Derek.
2 It Often Seems Like The Relationship Is All About Him
Derek is called McDreamy by everyone at the hospital and yet Meredith doesn't have an equally positive nickname. That's pretty telling and shows us that Derek is the center of attention. It always seems like the relationship is all about him, and that's not something that we can get behind.
Meredith is such an interesting person. She has a lot of life experience from experiencing so much tragedy at such a young age and anyone would be super lucky to be with such a kind, strong, and intelligent person. It doesn't really seem like Derek appreciates her because he wants everyone to focus on him and what a great doctor he is.
1 She Disappears After He Passes Away
Let's admit that it was super tough to watch the episode when Derek passes away. It was so bad that we might not even want to think about it.
The way that Meredith reacted really doesn't add up, though, and it was a really strange storyline. She disappeared for a few months, which would have been confusing enough, but then it turned out that she was having a baby and wanted privacy.
We understand being so torn up with grief that you felt that you had to get away, but wouldn't Meredith want to be around her friends at this tough time? It seems like yet another Meredith/Derek storyline that just doesn't add up and leaves us confused even after all of this time.