Thanks for writing to JustAnswer.
If I (or anyone) knew the secret to knowing if a relationship would last forever, I'd have my own talk show!
I can tell you that your friend's descriptions of their reactions sound like very juvenile infatuations and not at all like true love. In real life, people get headaches, have indigestion, snore, etc.etc.
Yes, it would be nice for the sight of him to give you a little lift after you've been apart for a day or two (and a bigger lift after a longer separation). But not after you walked from one room to the other and there he is again...
In my opinion, knowing if it's love is more about how being with the other person makes you feel about yourself. When we're in a good, healthy relationship we can tell because we feel good about ourselves. We can be just who we are and know we are loved for who we are. No pretenses, no putting on an act.
Running out of things to talk about when you're so far apart doesn't mean the relationship isn't working. If you were together all day, you probably wouldn't spend as much time talking to each other--there would be silences, you'd be doing things together, and there would be glances that communicate more than words.
The things you listed that you have in common could have come right from a "how to have a healthy relationship" textbook....religion,money, marriage roles...those are the things that drive people apart after a few years if they're not compatible.
I think you have a shot at a really solid, healthy relationship here. Please stop comparing "your insides to other people's outsides". I guarantee you that your friends are exaggerating or even downright lying. Watch them together, see how they really are, and you will realize you have the potential for much more.
The only thing I would ask you to consider is to wait to make a decision about marriage until the two of you have had more face to face time. Some people can talk a good game, but can't really live up to what they say they believe. Nothing you've said makes me think this applies to your boyfriend, cut like I said in the beginning...no one can really predict for someone else how things will go.
This is your life you're making decisions about. Do your due diligence...spend another six months with him when he gets back to the States before you make any marriage or children decisions.
But from what you wrote, you sound like you found yourself a "keeper."
If this has been helpful, or at least given you food for thought, please click on ACCEPT so I can get credited for this answer!