I still don't understand involvements?

I know a girl (22) for 18 months or so. We go to the same university but we only met up about 7 times. We both are kind of timid and slow on the dating scene in general. She's always been in relationships ever since 16 yo. I've been seriously involved with 2 people and the rest were hookups, but after seeing certain things, I've distanced from involvements of any type at this moment. So yea, we've never hooked up. We met through a mutual friend on fb and ever since then we've never stopped talking. An 18 month friendship isn't the longest but we've accompanied each other through small phases, changes, ups, downs, irrelevant moments in life etc. Our interests and conceptions are what tightened the contact between us and slowly we grew intimate. We can talk ab anything, act stupid, serious, cute, etc. The feelings that grew for her have become so intense and singular for me. So on month 6 I told her about my feelings. At that moment she said she was confused with life, her sexuality, her studies and wasn't in any condition to give attention to my feelings. I understood and put it aside. We continued talking as friends but there would still be light flirting, and though she is my friend, I'm also attracted to her. So on month 17 I again expressed my sentiments. But this time she clearly said her feelings do not reciprocate mine, I am simply a friend. I was pretty bummed (life hurts). I began the process of erasing these feelings and stopped talking to her for 15 days. On day 16, she messaged saying how she missed talking, how she really enjoys my company and that she's worried how our relation might get messed up by what happened. I don't understand why she won't open herself to explore some type of minimum involvement beyond a friendship with me. Her best friend randomly (I did not ask) told me I have to stop liking her for her to like me back in this way. This is not the first time I've seen this type of thing. Why? Why like only when not liked? Miss only when left?

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