How do I leave a job whereby I’m relied on?

I’ve been working at my job for a fair few years now and I’ve progressed there a lot. I’m the youngest in management by a few years and I know my boss does see a lot of potential in me.

My partner lives a few hours away from me and it is where I grew up and where my friends and family all are. When my rent contract is up in a few months, I’m planning to move back home and leave my job and move to a new company elsewhere. This is all ok, however, a few months ago my boss said he wants me to replace someone else higher than me when she goes. Ever since then, it keeps being mentioned. He is very much relying on me taking this job and asking if I’m still enjoying working at the company, how much they know I’ll make it big there etc.

I have a lot of admiration for my boss and he has always been great to me. Handing in a notice is always very awkward and I’m not planning to do it for quite a few months yet so I don’t really see fit to mention it. I’m just looking for advice on how to handle a situation whereby I’m expected to take up a new role and it keeps being mentioned to me? Will I just apologise and explain my situation? I do want to leave there on a very good note, but it’s just finding out how to tackle the conversation correctly.

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