When you tell your guy friend , after many years that you like him more than a friend and he says to be friends, why? and does he think about it?

Basically there is someone I knew for years. We grew apart over the years and reconnected nearly a year or so ago. We reconnected, flirted, got more than friend quickly and then became friends (he wanted to slow down, which I agreed). I got tired of this cycle that i Finally told him my feelings I had for him. I don't regret it, I told him that I have always deep down, loved him. He told me he "appreciated my honesty and that we should remain friends".
Part of me was hoping what I said would push him away because of how I feel for him knowing nothing more can happen (yes, he is in a relationship) :
questions:
why does he wanna be friends after my 'feelings confession"
AND
as I told him two days ago, do you think he has thought about what I said? My 'feelings confession"
AND
what typically goes through a dude's mind when a 'feelings confession' happens?

I haven no regrets - except I wish I told him many years ago lol.
When you tell your guy friend , after many years that you like him more than a friend and he says to be friends, why? and does he think about it?
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