With both Derek (Patrick Dempsey) and Cristina (Sandra Oh) gone from the Grey Sloan Memorial when Grey's Anatomy returns, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) will get close to another doctor - Alex (Justin Chambers).

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"It comes off somewhat begrudgingly, but underneath it all, I think he's really happy to have that connection," Chambers told TVGuide.com.

There's just one big problem: Alex's girlfriend Jo (Camilla Luddington) isn't too thrilled with his newly formed friendship.

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"I guess you could call it an emotional affair in a sense," Chambers said. "It has come between [Alex and Jo]."

Despite Derek's big move, the show won't be filming in Washington D.C. That means fans will not see Mr. McDreamy as often as they'd like.

"It's highly possible that we might not see Derek for a while," executive producer Shonda Rhimes told Entertainment Weekly. "There will be a time when you see him again, yes, but it's probable that you won't see Derek for a while."

This doesn't necessarily mean that a breakup is brewing. Pompeo previously said she doesn't believe the popular television couple will ever call it quits.

"Meredith and Derek aren't breaking up. That's not happening," she told the publication in November. "Eventually at some point we'll get back to being good, I'm sure. We go in cycles, but hopefully we'll play out the relationship in realistic ways, and we get interesting stuff so that we can give good performances."

Grey's Anatomy returns Thursday, Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.