Newly single Christine McGuinness has opened up about her fears of dating after her split with Top Gear presenter Paddy McGuinness, stating that dating is her ‘worst nightmare.’ Despite separating last year, the pair continue to live together in the Cheshire family home with their three children.
Opening up to The Mirror, she admitted, “The thought of dating is actually my worst nightmare. I’ve just never really done it. When I met my husband, we were friends first. I think that helped; it worked because I never had that pressure of, ‘What do I wear? Where do I go? What is the food going to be like? Will I like the restaurant?'” “It’s sensory for me. A typical date, from what my friends would say, is you go for dinner, or you might have some drinks.“I don’t drink and I don’t really enjoy eating in different places with people that I don’t know. Once I’m comfortable with someone, that’s lovely. “But I don’t know how I am supposed to get to that point.”
Recently, Christine bravely discussed her life-changing ADHD and autism diagnosis on The Doctor Will Hear You Now podcast with host Dr Zoe Williams. The reality star revealed that she was diagnosed with autism two years ago, which brought a deeper understanding of herself and her neurodivergent identity.
Speaking on ADHD and autism as a double diagnosis, Christine highlighted its prevalence, stating, “It’s quite common to get a double diagnosis when you’re autistic; you could potentially be autistic and ADHD, or autistic and dyspraxic, or dyslexic. It is quite common to get that double barrel.”
Describing her experience with inattentive ADHD, Christine explained, “For me, when I’m inattentive, I can be quite distant, I live in my own little bubble. It goes quite naturally with my autism, it overlaps, and it’s quite similar, but then I have moments where I am extremely hyperactive in my thoughts, in the creative side, in my feelings, in my emotions.”
Christine further shared that her hyperactivity manifests in intense emotional episodes, especially during sadness. These moments can lead to thoughts of despair, even including suicidal ideation. On the other hand, when she experiences happiness, it becomes an overwhelmingly positive and fulfilling sensation.
Autism encompasses a diverse range of conditions characterised by difficulties in social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech, and nonverbal communication.
After a thorough and lengthy assessment process, Christine received her autism diagnosis at 31, which brought her instant relief. The diagnostic scale ranges from 0 to 50, with an average neurotypical person scoring around 15, similar to Paddy’s result. Christine scored 36, indicating a significant difference in her neurodivergent traits.
Reflecting on her journey since the diagnosis, Christine shared how it has been a life-changing experience for her. With newfound self-awareness, she understands herself better and grasps a deeper understanding of the people and the world around her. Previously, she struggled to comprehend certain aspects of life and found herself secluded, rarely leaving the house for nearly eight years.
Paddy, her ex-partner, had suspected her autism for years, recognising her unique quirks and differences. Christine’s autism contributes to her preference for structure and deliberation, often taking her hours to prepare or make simple decisions, like choosing between two plain T-shirts.
Her autism has also affected her social life, as she admitted to rarely going out during her 20s and skipping milestones like her 21st and 30th birthdays due to her discomfort with socialising. Understanding her neurodivergent identity has brought a sense of acceptance and helped her recognise that her experiences were valid, dispelling the notion of being “overthinking” or “going mad.”