How can I reject him in a somewhat nice way?

My name is Eva and I’m 19 years old.
I barely have any experience when it comes to love and relationships.
I’ve had crushes and that is pretty much it.
I have never been in a relationship which means I’ve never been kissed and I am still a virgin. This is something I am very embarrassed about. I mean don’t you think it is a bit abnormal for a 19-year-old to have so little experience?

Anyways, like I said I barely have any experience when it comes to love etc.
Last Saturday I had my first date with a guy from work.
The thing is I did not realize it was a date. I thought we were just hanging out as friends, but suddenly he was holding my hand telling me how much he loves me.
I started panicking, because I had no idea this would happen and this whole ‘love-thing’ is completely new to me.
I told him I was honored and I thought he was sweet, but I also told him that we don’t know each other well enough (we have just started to become friends).
He proceeded to tell me more about himself and I quickly realized that we are polar opposites and that I am definitely not interested in a relationship.
I mean I am honored, this is the first guy to ever like me, but I don’t want to enter a relationship when it doesn’t feel good and there are no feelings involved. It wouldn’t be fair to either of us.

These last couple of days he has been sending multiple sweet messages asking to hang out and stuff.
I really need to tell him that I’m not interested, but I don’t want to hurt his feelings.
My friend told me I should block him or ghost him, but I think that is way too harsh.

So, what is the best way to reject someone in a somewhat nice way?
Should I tell him in public? I really don’t want to go to his house or invite him to my house.
What do you think I should do?
I need to tell him as soon as possible, because I really don’t want to lead him on 😓😞.

I apologize if I’ve made any grammar mistakes. English is not my first language.
How can I reject him in a somewhat nice way?
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