Why does my crush seem like he doesn’t want a relationship?

I’m 16 and like a guy who I have known ever since I was little (he’s also 16) but we have only reunited at the beginning of this year. We’ve become quite close and I have developed a crush on it. He knew that because I told him a couple of months ago that I like him but he basically just let me down nicely and said he hasn’t met me in years (like actually met up in person) so he doesn’t know if he likes me. I just let it go and at one point we kind of stopped talking to each other but then he texted me and he said that he really wants to still keep talking to me. So although he doesn’t like me in that way, I at least know he still wants me in his life. Now before you start assuming stuff about him I’m going to describe him. He’s the most innocent guy I know, like there is not a thread of raging testosterone in this man, unlike my ex. And I quite like this about him because I’m not an overly sexual person so if I was to ever date him, I know he wouldn’t rush straight into having sex. He’s also the sweetest guy ever and has made it very clear that he doesn’t want to lead me on. He also has never dated anyone before. He’s had a thing with two girls, both for quite a long time, but he never actually did anything about it. So why is he like this? Do you think maybe he’s just scared to have a relationship? I really just want to be in a relationship with him but I can see he’s not ready for any of that yet and if I still get to be friends with him then I’m happy with that. But if he is scared of relationships, or whatever the reason for this is, how can I get him to change his mind and ask me out?
Why does my crush seem like he doesn’t want a relationship?
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