Guys, is this harmless flirting?

so there's this guy who likes me and I don't like him back and he knows this and I've told him I just want to be friends but he keeps trying to date me, long story.

But out anyway today he texted me and randomly asks "how do you do it?" And I said how do I did what, and he said how do you manage to look so gorgeous everywhere you go, and I said haha I don't, and he said "yes you do everywhere you go you look so gorgeous and it's hard sometimes not to just grab you and kiss you"

Nkw naturally since I have no feelings for him nor am I attracted to him, I decided not to entertain it and just not reply. Then he replied and asked if it freaked me out and I told him it made me uncomfortable then he starts apologizing and says "it's just harmless flirting and it was supposed to make you smile I'm sorry hun" going on and on, then I said it's ok and he said I'm just gonna go take a nap and sleep this off..

I don't know my mom thinks he's trying to manipulate me and make me feel bad so that I'd just pursue him and by apologizing and trying to make me feel like a jerk. But I don't know. What does it sound like? Manipulation or harmless flirting?
Guys, is this harmless flirting?
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