Same thing happened to me just two weeks ago. even tough he sent mixed emotions (in the I came to the conclusion that he is an attention seeker and he loved each and every bit of attention I gave him) I asked him out. I was rejected. I was sad for an hour and pissed off for other reasons for the next day. Now I am over him and lining up potential boyfriends. I could care less right now. It took a lot for a girl who has had shy tendencies like me to build up that courage. Just go for it. If you are rejected, the pain now doesn't sting as much as it will in the future if you didn't. He could be in the same position as you, fearing the rejection. If he accepts you can advance your relationship. But if you never ask you will look back and wonder about what could have been. If he says no, just go on in life.
Everyone is right just ask him out There is no need to let him know how much you like or think you love him right now. Keep it simple so you do not scare him off if your approach I'd overwhelming. If things work out there will be plenty of time to let him know how you feel.