Advice on being in love with your friend? Should I be patient or give up on him?

LuckyLittleLucy
I hate it but I'm totally in love with my friend. We've only really become close in the past few months but I've loved him for years. I have no idea if he ever has or could have feelings for me in the future.
I asked him out months ago and he said no but he felt awful because he really liked me and thought I was a great friend but he fancied someone else. I kind of knew deep down and I thought just hearing him confirm it would make me get over it- but it hasn't.
Ever since then he started paying me more attention and we began to speak far more than before. I love being in his company even though he teases me. It's probably because he gives me hugs and (jokingly) says 'I love you really Lucy'.
I thought maybe things were going somewhere but then I heard (from his possibly unreliable friend) that he might like my friend. So I've backed off and I thought maybe this will make me realise I don't really love him. I want it to work but he always creeps into my thoughts. We speak and are great friends but I try not to send him messages unless he starts the conversations- and now that is never- but some of my/our friends (who have no idea of my massive crush) say we make a great couple and how we're so in love. Clearly not. My best friend (who doesn't even know) says 'I guarantee something will happen between the two of you by the end of the year'. The thing is whenever she has said that kind of thing before it's been true because she's good at that stuff. I don't want to get my hopes up over nothing! I really just need advice on whether or not I should give up or not? That would be great.
Updates:
+1 y
Turns out he doesn't like my friend... I asked if him and said was I barking up the wrong tree? He replied with they're just friends and I was barking up the next tree along? Fingers crossed!
Advice on being in love with your friend? Should I be patient or give up on him?
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