Probably the hardest thing for me was dealing with all the turns that my first serious relationship took- the good ones and the bad ones.
Since you have never been through any of this stuff before, trying to figure out how to handle each situation can definitely be a difficult task.
From what I understand, you have this boyfriend who you no longer feel as strongly for and you don't know how to handle it. Should you break things off or should you not just to spare his feelings?
The Longer I Waited, the Harder it Was
I had an experience sort of similar where I was involved with a guy that I cared about very much but there came a point in time when I realized that this was no longer as perfect a situation as I had thought it was and so I had to make a decision.
At first I didn't break things off and at the time I thought it was a good idea BUT later I realized that by prolonging things, I ended up making my life even more difficult.
The longer you leave things, the harder they become to handle in the long run. I know that while this is a very huge deal for you right now, you will realize later on that it was just a normal progression. It was a simple transition in your life that seemed much more complex at the time.
Act On Your Feelings
Keep in mind that you are still very young and you will have plenty of break ups and relationships in your future. I think that what you need to do, if you no longer feel the same way about this guy, is act on those feelings. Be open and honest with him and talk about it. Maybe talking about it will make things better or maybe he will end up agreeing with you. Either way, by talking to HIM about it, you will be able to take care of the situation in one way or another.
From personal experience, my advice would be not to put off doing something you know should be done, and keep in mind the fact that he is probably the first of many boyfriends to come.
Learn to Love Yourself First
The thing that worries me the most about your question is the part where you talk about never liking yourself until you met him and not understanding why the guy likes you.
It seems to me like you have much more important things to deal with, with regards to this. You need to learn to love yourself before you worry about anyone else loving you. You shouldn't need to have someone tell you he loves you for you to feel good about yourself.
In my opinion you need to work on loving yourself and getting to know yourself before you even consider getting involved in any more relationships. While having a boyfriend there to tell you he loves you and make you feel good about yourself is perfectly fine, it should not be the only time that you ever feel good about yourself and you certainly shouldn't have to wonder why the guy likes you.
You need to learn what it is about yourself that you like so that you will be able to understand why this guy or any guy will like you in the future. You are still very young and innocent and yes, even though you hate to think it, very naive. Not having a good sense of yourself can end up meaning that you could make some mistakes down the line because you believed that it would make someone like you more or it would make you feel better about yourself.
What's my point? I think you need to be on your own for a while and learn to love yourself before you get involved in any other relationships.
You cant truly be happy in a relationship unless you are able to love yourself and not question other peoples love for you.