I have a really hard time understanding why one should hide the fact that they like someone. The older I get the more confusing the concept gets.
I’d honestly rather tell the truth and get hurt and denied quickly than waiting it out, playing games and then get hurt after a long time.
Saying “hey, I think I actually like you and I want to see you more” isn’t and shouldn’t be such a big deal.
And obviously when someone confesses their feelings to you, you should at least treat them with respect even if you don’t feel the same way. If they have the curtesy to be honest with you, you should be honest with them. It’s not hard to just say “I understand, I just don’t feel the same. I’m sorry.”
And then that person can try to move on.