Several years ago I came the realization that, even today, there's really nothing to stop some woman from totally taking me for a ride. I mean, if I'm attracted enough to them, and I like them enough, and I trust them enough, then there's really nothing to stop the kind of nightmare crash and burn dramas from happening again.
I heartily recommend a book titled, The Confidence Game, by Maria Konnikova. It's available through the Austin Public Library, among other places. The book breaks down the psychology of the Con, the Con Artist, and what makes the Mark so vulnerable to the Con. One of the main points the author makes towards the end of that book is that someone who gets conned once is actually more likely to get conned again rather than less likely, because the fact that the Mark got conned once means that they are someone who is susceptible to being screwed over again. Con Artists will swoop down on someone who has already been famously conned in much the same way vultures will pick a carcass clean after a wolf or something has killed its prey and had its fill.
The Confidence Game doesn't talk about cons in the sphere of romantic love, whether the every day flirtations of twenty-two year old waitresses or baristas with lonely middle-aged men or romantic love cons that actually involve criminal behavior, but the discerning reader can recognize all kinds of analogies and parallels between the cons and the tactics used in the stories told in the book and the kinds of things that have happened to ones such as myself and others.