Marian Keyes: ‘Bad boys… we should just call them what they are which is bad men’

The best-selling author on turning 60 and what she's learned along the way

Listen | 53:25

Writer Marian Keyes has urged young women to stay away from so-called ‘bad boys’: “I say this as a card-carrying, award-winning, ‘bad boy’ follower. We should just call them what they are, which is bad men” she said on the latest episode of The Irish Times Women’s Podcast.

“We wouldn’t ever be platonic friends with somebody who was cruel to us, who lied to us, who cheated on us, who was dishonest, who undermined us. We just wouldn’t. But throw sex into the mix? Oh, ‘but he’s so passionate’. It’s not passionate, it’s unhealthy …. be with somebody who’s your friend, who likes you, who wants to protect you, who’s on your side,” she says.

Having recently celebrated her sixtieth birthday, the author joined podcast presenter Róisín Ingle to reflect on her six decades of life and the nuggets of wisdom she’s picked up along the way.

“You’re never too old to make friends,” is another offered up by Keyes. Along with the realisation that most people only have two or three close friends in their life. “Say if somehow you ended up in a jail in Bangkok for accidentally smuggling drugs, you know, there are very few people that any of us could call,” she says.


“I mean, there are circles, you know, but two or three proper, really tight close friends is kind of what people get”.

In this conversation Keyes also explains the benefits of writing a gratitude list (“people hate when I say this”) and the power in knowing that not everyone will like you: “there are 6 billion people on the planet, the likelihood of liking everyone is very small,” she says.

You can listen back to this episode in the player above or wherever you get your podcasts.