What it ultimately came down to was my (well managed and medicated) mental illness.
He had wanted to take a break to think because my financial problems were “too stressful” and how he couldn’t take the stress of seeing me upset. But then when we finally met up to talk about it today - 2 weeks from that initial conversation - I brought up my mental illness (major depressive disorder - which he knew about) and how I couldn’t guarantee that I would always be healthy because...it’s an illness. He couldn’t “deal with the stress” of having a girlfriend that has a mental illness. That I might get sick again.
And I’m less upset. Because, had I any other kind of chronic illness, he probably would have felt less justified “not being able to deal with it” - which ultimately shows his true colours. I didn’t ask to be mentally ill. I didn’t ask to have an abusive family. Sorry that you “can’t deal with it” but I have to deal and manage it every day.
I thought this dude was a good one. I guess I was wrong.