“for a "relationship" that was so brief before she recognized it wasn't quite right, the intense emotional pain lasted so very long. I don't think that would be true for typical for face-to-face relationships, even when sex is involved.”
Don't be so sure about this. We are all individuals. And just as we are different form one another. No two relationships are exactly the same. Yes some will get over a short term relationship ( even physical ones ) easier then others. But there will be those who's attachment came very quickly and will take longer for them to move on.
But no matter the individuals these relationship's have one thing in common that the scam victim will never have.
The possibility of true closure
With the break up of any normal relationship one real person is dealing with another real person in one form or another. ie.. Face to face, over the phone and so on.
With us victims / survivors the person we fell in love with was never a real person to begin with.
So there can be no true closure because there is no real person to confront.
We can find suitable ways to simulate and accommodate this need for closure, but it takes time.
So the healing process after the scam also takes more time then getting past a normal relationship.
Now this is the general way of things, but by no means the rule. After all we all heal in our own way and in our own time.
And if H.G. was able to move forward from her scam quicker then average. I say God bless her.
“The scammers really do know what they're doing with psychology, don't they?”
You may have no idea as to how correct you are here.
It may even come as a surprise to find out that scammers are well train in psychology. And out of that number many even earn their degree in the subject just so they can improve their skills at deception, manipulation, and brainwashing.
These are some of the main tools of their trade, and they are very good at what they do.