Credit: Bob Mahoney and Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW ©2012 The CW Network Photo: Stefan, Damon, and Elena in Season 3, Episode 18: “The Murder of One”

No time will pass between The Vampire Diaries Season 3 finale and the start of the new season — in Mystic Falls time, that is. Everyone’s going to be processing the twists and coping with the changes, but that doesn’t mean executive producer Julie Plec isn’t looking ahead to the future for a new love interest for the jilted Salvatore brother.

Elena (Nina Dobrev) chose Stefan (Paul Wesley), but that decision was somewhat trumped by the fact that she’s now a vampire. She’s going to have spend some time dealing with the transition and finding out what her new supernatural status means for her relationship with both Stefan and Damon (Ian Somerhalder). “In the first part of the season, we’re going to be very much invested in what’s going to happen to Elena and what do each of the brothers have to say about it and what are each of them going to do to try to help her through this experience and what does it do to their relationship with each other?” Plec tells TVLine. “Then once the dust settles from that, we’ll see [about a new romance for Damon].”

In other words, the guy is going to need some time to mend his broken heart and help Elena deal with blood cravings before he can worry about a new lady love.

Source: TVLine

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Follow Jenny McGrath on Twitter @wetpaintjenny.