Most Helpful Girl
LDR is One of the Hardest to Have and to Uphold of Any relationship, @hope0930 and I, for one, know this probably Better than Anyone from the Best of the Rest. I still have a husband out in Egypt and well, long story as always, I have told this a million times over.
In your own case, he has told you that being Friends was better for him because the Other end, my friend, was Not worth his time, although he still has you on his mind. He doesn't want the Commitment nor being hooked at the hip in this Internet relationship or Other means of communication and this is Why... He told you no lie.
It's your call, your choice in what you feel is best for you. If you both find you cannot Find the time to try and get together, become Team partners in making this effort, then His "I love yous" are something that he may still Feel, but will keep at bay like a loose Wheel.
Sure, it Is 'Awkward' and the More you Talk, the More uncomfy it will Feel because you want the Big Deal and he doesn't.
Don't feel 'Dumbfounded.' This happens a lot. People always ask me Why I chose to marry a man in Egypt whom I never ended up living with nor wanted to stay married to in the end.
Good luck. xx0