I have more to say about this besides my comment, but that can wait for later... meanwhile, my comment from there reproduced.
My criteria for selecting the intensity of a relationship go like so:
Extremely actively avoid: block all possible contacts with, avoid mutual contacts, avoid places where they may be, keep tabs on where they like to be to avoid them.
Actively avoid: don't visit places where they tend to be, if they come in, leave.
Avoid: Don't seek out contact with them, and don't continue contact with them if they initiate it.
Neutral: Don't seek out contact with, and respond or not as appropriate when contact is initiated by them.
Contact/acquaintance: Occasionally initiate contact with them, and continue a dialogue with them when mutually interested in same.
Would not be averse to meeting in person: if we should happen to be in the same place at the same time, we could arrange to hang out, and further developments might happen. Might or might not give out further contact information.
Would like to meet in person: if we're ever local, we will meet up. Will probably give out contact information at least for the sake of meeting up.
Would seek out to meet in person: Would go out of my way (at least 40 miles out of way) to find in person if we're reasonably close, and would communicate if both traveling to see if there was a chance we could meet up. Contact information and schedules regularly exchanged.
Will meet in person: Someday, somehow, will meet this person face to face. It may be after some years, but we'll meet up. We will have already exchanged contact information and correspondance.
There are refinements, and everything's subject to change after I meet them. I know that for me, how someone looks does enter a lot into how attracted to them I am, as well as their voice, and energy -- I have to factor all of those in.
I start considering it a real-life friendship if the medium in which I'm contacting them becomes irrelevant. I've got one IRL friend I've never met face to face, but we have exchanged phone numbers, talk regularly, chat in IM, read each other on LJ and comment there, e-mail each other, and will eventually run into each other face to face.