Guy friend acting weird?

So I’m friends with this guy in a younger grade and we used to be quite good friends. We were always super affectionate (this is normal for him because he’s quite affectionate with his friends, including his female friends). However, with me he also verbally expressed his affection and appreciation which was a little unusual. But I was fine with it. However, lately he’s been super off. He looks so alarmed/scared whenever he sees me. He’d try to act normally but he’d no longer be affectionate and you can tell something’s off. It also seems he’s been avoiding hanging out with me and our mutual friend in his grade. I thought at first I was just over analyzing his behaviour due to my paranoia, but our mutual friend (the one we usually hang out with) had pointed it out as well. According to her it may be because of his friends (who she said are pretty childish) and/or because of the rumours that we’re dating. Also, I had asked him before (this is after he started acting weird) if his friends ever found our friendship weird or whatever and he said not really but was avoiding eye contact and quickly pushed away the subject. Either way it’s been really ticking me off and I don’t know what to do about it. He means a lot to me.
Guy friend acting weird?
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