Reese Witherspoon learned to stop chasing men and let them pursue her.

The 34-year-old actress - who recently announced her engagement to Hollywood agent Jim Toth after almost a year of dating - was advised by her friends to change her approach to romance and believes her new attitude worked well.

She explained: "A good girlfriend of mine said to me there's something you learn as you get older as a woman: stop chasing after men and start looking at the men that are chasing after you.

"That's a hard thing to recognise, but it really rings true with me."

Reese - who has children Ava, 11, and seven-year-old Deacon with former husband Ryan Phillippe - also admitted she has learned that it is important to have a good level of balance in her life so she stays happy in both her professional and personal pursuits.

She told Total Film magazine: "It's important to cultivate a personal life that makes you just as happy as your professional life and I work really hard on that. I have a lot of interests so your whole life isn't just about making movies. That's a dangerous place to be."