Gender Interaction

I am a Muslim girl living in Bahrain. I am just a 12 year old that is new to love and relationships. Recently, I have been very close to one of my guy friends at school. He is Druze, not a Muslim. We became close friends over time. We exchanged phone numbers. One day, I asked him whom he liked, and he said that he liked me. I told him that I liked him, too. After that, it has been very awkward between us. On last day of school, we went out with each other with a bunch of friends (we were not alone). We did not hold hands and we did not even touch each other. All that is happening is that we like each other very much. Nothing personal happened lately. We are in a Muslim country. He is not a bad boy that will go touching girls in a perverted way. He is loyal and well mannered and would never behave badly with any girl. Is what is happening in my life forbidden? Please do not tell me to stop communicating with him. He is the first crush that I ever had that made me feel happy about myself.

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