When I was younger I used to make up dream scenarios and then tell them to certain people. I did this to see how they would react. It was a way to protect my pride. If, say, in a dream I was married to a certain someone (that I really liked) it was just a dream, right. It wasn't like I was really telling him how I felt. But I could tell him about the "dream" jokingly to gauge a reaction. This worked pretty well, I found out that a certain guy I had been dating didn't love me or think he ever would, and he felt badly that I might love him. I left. It was easier that way. I shut him off.
I was also a master of running away. I ran from so many people. I ran away from friends, from lovers, from people who could have been important to me, had I let them in. I didn't want to get hurt, so I ran. Sometimes I even ran from a whole state to get away from those feelings and fears of hurt. If you ask my old friend DB he would tell you that.
I don't use the dream strategy anymore. I have never used it on Will for some reason. I have never had to, he has always been fairly easy to read in that sense, and I know he would never lead me on like that other guy had. I don't run from people anymore either. Its nearly impossible to do that with children. However I did run from Will once, and I am still paying for it. I will always pay for that because I hurt him and hurt me, and made both of us have a hard time trusting the other. Its one of those things I will forever regret.
I was wondering what strategies did you use to protect your heart.