What does it mean when he calls me "dear"?

I was talking to my guy friend on Skype earlier. We are very close and I like him a lot. He keeps giving me mixed signals so I don't know if he likes me. I'm 20 and he's 21 if that makes a difference. So, we were talking (he initiates every conversation first) and all the sudden he made a comment and called me "dear". What does that mean? Is it just a random comment or does it mean more?