Sex/Relationship/Guy Advice

So I just wanted to get some input from you ladies. Long story short, a guy cares about me, I'd say likes me but has always told me he's not ready for a relationship right now. Me being young, in love, and a bit new to all this, of course doesn't want to believe it. I can't understand how he can kiss me and call me beautiful and hold me and cuddle, but still after sex say, "at this point we are becoming friends with benefits." Another thing, I'm still rather new to all the sexual stuff. This guy has been the best and most experienced that I've had so far. I'm saying that with only two bfs before (I'm 20) and I have only been single for a few months now. Point being, how is casual sex different from "meaningful" sex? Because based on everything we've done and what he's said to me, we should be together, but obviously that isn't the case. I guess as a newb, idk what stuff during sex is just sex, in the moment, and what stuff during sex is like an emotional connection. Is this just how girls tend to get hurt and guys leave unscathed? Or am I just young and hopelessly in love and over analyzing him to try and keep hoping for something that he says isn't there? Idk. No idea. No experience. Help. Maybe the casual sex scene isn't my thing and I'm more exclusive, cuz im a very emotionally driven person, idk.

I'll say he isn't some jerk guy. We have talked extensively throughout this entire thing and still admire each other as persons. We both were trying to keep our distance but occasionally one of us would break and a kiss would happen, or more recently, sex. We both admit that I'm more into him than vice versa, and he's probably abused that (since he hasn't seen any action for almost 2 yrs now) and we both know being friends with benefits isn't what we want in an already complicated situation, and for my own emotional wellbeing. Of course I'm still rooting for us someday in the future, which Ik is hopelessly romantic. How do i work towards letting him go? Ik I need to let him go, but the heart wants what it wants so I need ways to make it easier and not end up in bed with him again. And even learn something that will make it easier to stop asking questions and always wondering why. Thanks again.