You're pals. Which is lovely. But it's keeping this break from being anything but. It's also kind of keeping this situation from being much of a relationship, but I would chalk that up to distance as well.
It is easy and it is safe. It is also risk-free.
Those are not necessarily good things.
I am not saying you need to take foolish chances in life or fall in with people who will treat you poorly. But this has been an easy way out relationship for both of you. And from ages 20 - 23, so you missed out on the tail end of college-age dating.
This is where the dating experience changes pretty significantly. You stop having school as a fallback for finding friends and SOs. It turns into work or hobbies and so it becomes harder. But those people presumably have more in common with you. I was at this stage when I met my husband, and it was via the personals - before the Internet. If the time in history had been different, I would have used online dating or Meetup or the like. He most likely would have, as well.
All you have written about here are about your problems, discussing them, and then waiting on this person to get back to you. Please don't live your life this way.
Instead, please, go out and enjoy your existence. Don't hang around by the telephone or text and for God's sake don't use this person as your sole friend to talk things over with. It's time for this to be a real-live break with real-live space for you both to explore other things.
This does not mean you cannot be cordial but you both sound so damned available.
I admit I am not a fan of long-distance relationships. If they go on for about 2 years or more without progressing to someone (or both) moving, or a serious sign of commitment such as a proposal, then I feel they stagnate. Furthermore, they are safe little cocoons where people can hide away from the bother and effort and risks inherent in trying to meet other people.
I am also not a fan of long-term relationships before age 22 or so, 25. These are not arbitrary numbers. It's because people haven't matured yet, and they are caught at a moment before the significant change in dating life. We see them all the time here, people who had but one relationship and now a dozen years have gone by and they suffer from FOMO or they claim they can't leave a bad relationship because they foolishly invested a ton of time when the reality is that they squandered it. Of course, sometimes those situations work out, and I am abundantly aware that the people who come here for relationships advice are self-selecting. YMMV, but this is what I have seen a lot of.
Finally, one more thing. Relationships sometimes just plain run out of gas. You care for someone, and they care for you, but it just doesn't go the distance. And that is perfectly okay, by the way. The vast, vast majority of relationships don't work out. They aren't meant to. There is no shame in telling someone they are wonderful but they are not for your golden years, and you don't think you are for theirs. And that might be what's at play here.
Or maybe you are meant for the long haul. But you're not going to know that unless you make this break a real-live break instead of a slight variation in the long-distance conversations you have been having for three years.