updated 03/28/2014 AT 7:30 AM ET
•originally published 03/26/2014 AT 12:35 PM ET
For the first time in a decade, Gwyneth Paltrow is back on the market.
While Paltrow endures what she calls a “difficult time,” soon the day will arrive when the Shakespeare in Love Academy Award-winner decides she’s ready to begin dating again. And when that day comes, she’s going to need some advice. Luckily, she’s got the best source there is – her own filmography.
In movies both romantic (Bounce) and … otherwise (Se7en), Paltrow’s characters have learned valuable lessons about lust, trust and the nature of love. Below, a selection of wisdom from the Book of Paltrow.
Gwyneth plays: A headstrong young woman dealing with a string of suitors in Regency England
Lesson learned: Get a hobby – activities like archery are a great place to find a date.
Gwyneth plays: A 20th-century version of Dickens’s spoiled Estella
Lesson learned: Any man who will endure a tracking shot for you is worth keeping.
Shakespeare in Love
Gwyneth plays: An Elizabethan noblewoman who secretly tries her hand at the stage
Lesson learned: When you want to switch things up, try dressing as a man – it’ll be hotter if he pretends he doesn’t know.
Gwyneth plays: The devoted young wife of a hot-tempered cop
Lesson learned: Not every surprise that comes in a box is a good surprise, but don’t lose your head over it.
Gwyneth plays: A Londoner who experiences two alternate timelines thanks to a rapidly closing Tube door
Lesson learned: Don’t waste your time wondering what might have been (or who might have Ben).
The Iron Man Franchise
Gwyneth plays: The capable assistant to a charismatic billionaire-slash-superhero
Lesson learned: Indulge your mate, but know when to draw the line.
Gwyneth plays: A troubled mathematician dealing with the loss of her father
Lesson learned: Wait until the moment’s right before introducing your next boyfriend to your family.
Gwyneth plays: One half of a pair of lovers linked by tragedy
Lesson learned: In serious relationship discussions, avoid metaphors.
A Perfect Murder
Gwyneth plays: An unfaithful wife whose husband secretly plots to have her killed
Lesson learned: Cheating is wrong and you should never do it – but if you absolutely must, do it with Viggo Mortensen.
Gwyneth plays: An academic on the trail of the literary discovery of a lifetime
Lesson learned: Never date a man who wears a turtleneck.
The Royal Tenenbaums
Gwyneth plays: A melancholy playwright raised in a family of child prodigies
Lesson learned: It’s not wrong if it’s your adopted sibling.
Gwyneth plays: An over-the-hill country singer trying to revive her career
Lesson learned: This one’s right in the GIF.
Below, watch a supercut of Gwyneth Paltrow’s best roles:
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