Guys, [FRIENDZONE] Is it fair to stay friends after you just rejected your best friend? Or is this torture for the guy?

So I have been friends with this guy for almost 7 years now. During that time I have practically always been in a relationship with someone else. Same as I am now. I can spare you the whole "he is my best friend" talk. But really, he is. Let's call him Tom.

Last week we got drunk together as we have done so many times. Only this night he decided to tell me he liked me. We had a serious talk about it yesterday. He said he had already liked me for a long time (he didn't specify for how long) and that in the beginning he liked me as well, but kinda got over it. All the complaining about my boyfriend and my touchy nature were just too much for him. Seeing I'm in this huge confusion with my current relationship, he proposed trying a relationship out with him to see where it goes.

I made clear I wanted to stay friends but that I didn't want a relationship with him. However, it's not that I don't like him. I really love him. I even fantasize about him. (I didn't tell him that obviously) I just don't see a relationship working out between the two of us. The reason being I have too much issues for a healthy relationship (hence the dysfunctional relationships I always complained about to him). The second, more important reason, because I feel our future plans and interests do not match up to such a degree that I would see myself as a lifelong partner with him.

So, he stayed over for a bit, I saw he was hurt. I told him that he was to make the decision whether or not we stay friends. He said he definitely wanted to stay friends, but just see each other less. Further, he asked me not to talk with him about my boyfriends (very reasonable) and be less flirtatious.

I want to stay friends more than anything else. I really feel love for him, more than for all my other friends. I don't know if it's fair to him though. He might continue to have hope. Should I end the friendship here, to save him the torture? To help him go on with his life?
Guys, [FRIENDZONE] Is it fair to stay friends after you just rejected your best friend? Or is this torture for the guy?
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