How do I compliment a guy showing emotion and not make him feel like a child? Do guys think cute, sweet and adorable indicate interest or are bad?

Anonymous
My shy guy friend talks like he's crushing on me. Things he said melted my heart and made me want to cry, they were so sweet. If we'd been in person, I would have given him a big kiss.

I wanted him to know I'm touched by what he says and I like him back. I told him what he said was cute and adorable and he is too. I said he was really sweet.

He knows I'm interested and we've made plans to hang out.

What should I say to him instead or are those okay? I want to be clear that I like him and not in a pat on the head, awwwwww kind of way. I don't want him to think he's getting rejected. It took so much for him to tell me in the first place. I want to encourage him.
How do I compliment a guy showing emotion and not make him feel like a child? Do guys think cute, sweet and adorable indicate interest or are bad?
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