Total Eclipse is right about friendship, but if a man loves a woman then being 'just good friends' will last as long as she is single.
I'm old fashioned though and all my friends are male. It was different when I was a young man and I had various female friends who I was not romantically involved with. Now it kind of has to be a romance before I get close enough to be a friend with a women. I mean in a true sense.
I can be work mates with women but that is different. I get on with all my female neighbours and friends sisters and wives, daughters and my so on, but obviously show some decorum as many are with someone and so I'll just have a polite chat as a neighbour. Not hit on them!
Due to being older, you find women or girls you were friends with when younger have settled down, married and so on.
The main thing is, sometimes just being a friend with a women might be worse for your confidence then if you just stopped seeing her. I mean, do you comfort her and sit up all night listening to how in love she is with some other man? That is were remaining friends gets difficult.
Still, at least you asked her out or told her your feelings. At least you will not look back and wonder if she would have said yes! A lot of people do that - I guess a lot of beautiful relationships fall at the first fence when someone just won't take the lead. Your teaching us something brother. You got moxy.
Total Eclipse is right though - friendship matters, but I'm just offering caution to it and having been friends with a woman I loved - and her not loving me (can't imagine why actually) I moved on rather than be the shoulder to cry on when I wanted, well, a shoulder sure, and the rest.
Sometimes its all or nothing - but maybe keeping in touch and certainly being polite and cordial to her is a good thing.
Who knows, at least if you are nice about it then maybe in a few years she might think back to you and see you as the one who got away.
I salute your courage in trying - it takes a lot for some men to even acknowledge these feelings. You know that emotions confuse us. We are often terrible at explaining how we feel.
If you never ask you will never really know.
Good luck, do what your hearts tells you. she sounds nice enough to keep in touch with and its good to talk with a woman when you'll maybe be looking for another one.
Most of the times I've got lucky in love it will be through some women I know. Women in love are always looking out to set other romances in motion.
One thing is for sure - when you lose a woman, for a while you think things will never be that good again. But there are a lot of beautiful women out there - and I'm talking beauty way inside - the best part of any women really is her mind and how she treats you, makes you feel.
Love is a beautiful thing, but it really does need two people to be in total agreement. It is not your fault or this women's. I'm sure she is flattered either way as you paid her the greatest compliment a man can pay and now all you need to do is be cool for her to continue to think your really a good guy.
Nothing worse than a moody man. Worse still someone who gets nasty about it. you've been cool so far - a gent.
Don't let this set you back - live and learn, enjoy women as your young and you need to make a few more connections before you know what kind of woman you actually want.
Well done - commiserations but I'm sure you will be fine when it comes to a summer of love and a few more encounters of the romantic kind.