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Suzie is right, Jess. Take it one step at a time.
However, it does sound like a great opportunity, and I think you should take it if it becomes available to you. I've done the long-distance thing twice - once for 4 years while we went to 2 different colleges, and then this last one, which was 2.5 years. It's not easy, and certainly not for the faint of heart, but we were always able to keep that close bond regardless of how long we went without seeing each other...mainly because we communicated, took joy in talking with each other (even though we both would've preferred to have been physically WITH each other), and tried to set a goal for when we'd see each other again - something to work toward.
I don't think your boyfriend was being quite fair to you, and if he's trying to make you stay by scaring you with the thought of him losing feelings for you because of the distance, then that's a little bit sneaky. People who REALLY care about each other don't need to be in arm's reach of each other at all times. If you care enough about a relationship with someone, you're strong enough to handle adversity when it comes and support your significant other when it's obvious that they really want to do something that - horror of all horrors - may not involve you.
Don't let his reaction stop you from doing what you want to do, and just take it one little bit at a time.
"Are tangerines really just oranges that didn't want it enough?" - Random Greeting Card