I screwed up.
I've screwed up three times, and only after the third time did I come to the realisation of this. Boys, I hated drama that came along with them because it meant I was going to either break someone's heart or get my heart broken, or both. I avoided it but that didn't help, they still ended up with broken hearts, not shattered but damaged.
All along I thought honesty was the way to go, when they approached me about their feelings, that to tell them I kind of feel the same was a good move. Because I understand it takes them a lot of courage to confess their feelings, and to let them know it's alright, I would reveal them that it's not completely one sided. But when my mind is a constant jungle of mess, telling the truth was to let them into my messing mind, eventually leading them into heartbreak because I wouldn't end up letting them into my heart wholly.
My best friend pointed this out, and finally I've learned, though I haven't led them on (making sure they knew that was the last thing I wanted to do), telling them I also like them but not wanting a relationship is pretty much just as bad. To give them hope but end up shattering those hopes because of my own inner problems of commitment was wrong. Though unintentional, they still ended up getting hurt, though I've been honest all along, doing everything in the hope of goodness, of avoiding any breakage... I was still stupid and foolish. I shouldn't have revealed too much.
And so I've learned for the ones to come, three broken hearts is enough. There is no middle ground of liking someone and not letting them into my heart. There's only rejection and acceptance (or friends with benefits which I will never consider). But to reject doesn't mean I close my doors on them. I should simply tell him that I haven't come to terms with my own feelings towards him and for him to give me time to think about it. In the meanwhile continue to be friends, keeping those doors open to the possibility. I shouldn't explicitly tell him I have slight feelings for him too. I won't be leading him on this way because I have remained honest.
All along with this boy, I didn't close my doors because he told me not to and I didn't want to regret having missed someone potentially perfect for me so I told him the truth, I told him everything from my feelings to my hopes. This in turn gave him hope that he had a shot with me, when in actual fact, he didn't. Not when I still had inner demons to battle.
Once you tell a boy you like him too, no matter how much that 'liking' is, they will be filled with hope and expectations. And from there you either meet his expectations and become his girlfriend or you break his heart. But for me, because I was never sure how much I liked him, and whether I wanted to let him into my heart completely, a 50/50 chance of letting him in means it was deadly to have let him know I liked him.
So to the 3 boys whose heart I broke...