It doesn't sound like your friend even really WANTS a "real" in-person relationship so for the level of attention/commitment she's looking for, this is "real" enough for her.

There are people (immature, insecure people) who thrive the drama of meeting someone new, dating long-distance, "falling in love," dramatic "break ups" - but they don't really want to sustain a REAL relationship. They even like the version of themselves they get to present to these people who don't really know them. If that's what she's looking for, she's probably found about the best way of doing it. Chances are, she's finding guys who are looking for about the same thing.