Why does he only talk to me when we're alone? Does he like me or not?

Imstuckinabook
Why does he only talk to me when we're alone? Does he like me or not?


I've known this guy for close to 8 years, we went to college together and turns out we're from the same area but went to different high schools. We've both moved back to our home town and occasionally run into each other. When we are alone he always acts excited to see me and will start conversations that are entertaining, thoughtful, and informative, but only until someone else walks up, as in within hearing range, then he makes quick goodbyes.

If either of us is with someone he practically ignores my existence, only quickly saying hi if I try to catch his attention. I've attempted to start chats on messenger to continue conversation topics we had in person but he gives short replies or doesn't respond at all.

He has turned me down every time I've invited him to hang out, even at group settings with mutual friends. I really like him, have pretty much since I met him and I have a tendency to sometimes get nervous and say (what I think are stupid things) sometimes when we talk, but mostly our conversations are full of laughter over common interests (we seem to have a lot of them).
I don't get it. Do I annoy him to some extent? I would say he's just being nice when we talk but then why does he look excited to see me and then start conversation? And if he does like me, why has he turned down set opportunities to see me? When I bring up something I want to do (in passing, not inviting him) he suggests other people I should ask to do it with me.
I don't really think he's shy, and everyone always categorizes him as kind. Can somebody make sense if this?
Why does he only talk to me when we're alone? Does he like me or not?
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