Cringe worthy moment! Have you complimented a guy only to be met with silence?

I am having a "becoming friends and sort of having benefits" thing with a guy. I believe this is a middle aged version of friends with benefits. He has a girlfriend, I am single. He has told me she doesn't know about it. I know, we are both going to hell. Please refrain from commenting on that element. Thank-you!

At any rate, I think he has developed feelings for me, and I have for him. I keep trying to deny that fact whenever my girlfriends ask me about it, but they are right, I have feelings for this guy.

Although he and I have not discussed it, something is there-you know how you just sense it? The way he looks at me, he cares and makes sure I am ok, we laugh, we connect emotionally, we connect physically. This is usually followed by a brief period of him pulling away. I let him go, then we come back together in a week or two.

I think he may be a little scared. He asked if we could cool it with the "benefits" (which was never actual sex) for now and to continue to develop our friendship. I agreed. It is difficult though because we both are so attracted to each other, and he tells me he wants sex, just not now.

Anyhow, here is the cringe worthy moment. So we've established no "benefits" and for some unknown reason I blurted out "I think you're the sexiest thing ever". He just smiled and said "Awww". That's it. I know one doesn't give compliments just to have them returned, so I don't know why this bothers me.

He has complimented me on how I look before, like my outfit or something, but nothing like what I said to him.

What are the various options for what he may have felt after he heard this, and why might he have reacted the way he did?

What should I do now, since it may be awkward between us the next time I see him?

Thanks for answering,
Cringe worthy moment! Have you complimented a guy only to be met with silence?
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