Hello, I'm Alicia. Thanks for your question, I'm happy to help you today. If you were in a relationship last year when you told him you had a crush on him, then his reaction -- saying you're better off as friends -- makes sense, even if he did actually have feelings for you. Since you've been friends for such a long time, it's naturally a bit awkward to make the transition from friends to "something more." But based on what you are describing here -- the fact that you are single and that he's putting out what seems to me to be obvious signs of interest -- it does sound like he might want to take that step. (Unless this is typical behavior for him and he always does stuff like this, i.e. putting his arms around you, treating you to dinner/shows, etc) To answer your question, I don't think he lied and I do think he is interested but he's just not sure how to proceed. I can understand you are afraid of rejection, so I would just wait a little while and see how things go. You might want to leave the next step up to him, since you already admitted your crush. Just return his interest and go along with it, but for now maybe leave the ball in his court unless you feel really compelled to share your feelings. Since you are such good friends already, the chances are high that eventually things are going to naturally progress to the next phase since you both seem to feel the same way. Just take it slow and step by step. Best wishes.