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.