How to handle being in a relationship where your partner ignores you?

I am currently in a relationship with a man that I have been on and off with for 4 years. He ignores me a lot and I feel very alone and like he doesn’t want me. He says he loves me and that he cares. He went to college failed his classes and lost his scholarships so he is back living with his parents. I am having a hard time with him not communicating and letting toxic people back into his life. I love him with all my heart and don’t want anyone else. I know that he is stressed and has a lot going on but if he wanted me he would have time for me right. It’s giving me a lot of negative feelings but I want to make it work.
Asked by Ash

Hi Ash, 

Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out.  Certainly, the tension existing within the present circumstances can be felt within your message.  My hope is that I will be able to relieve some of that experienced tension within my communication.

Navigating the nuances existing within a relationship can very much be comparable to the artistic expression of dancing.  Within a relationship setting, two individuals come together in a very intimate forum, completely influenced by different cultures, educations, experiences, developmental trajectories, psychological makeups, genetical traits, beliefs, and perspectives.  Suffice to say, attempting to establish balance can be tedious and cumbersome.  When compared to the world of dance, the variations of influence that exist can be equated to the different forms of dance that are practiced.  While some individuals may be familiar with dancing the Flamenco, others are more accustomed to dancing the Waltz.  Although different in appearance and presentation, a harmony can eventually be established among the two styles of dance, when a willingness to learn, mindful receptivity toward each other, and a general openness toward the inclusivity of the individuals needs, are practiced or maintained.  Similarly, when viewing the complexities that often arise within a relationship setting, we notice that the same virtues apply: Openness, Mindfulness, and a sense of Willingness.  Considering where each of these three virtues are present within your relationship as well as there respective role within the dynamic, can help foster a stable foundation.  

As I reflect upon the circumstances in which you have communicated further, I am reminded of a poignant adage: "Never become the go to person for someone in whom you can never truly go to."  In truth, the aforementioned statement possesses a world of meaning and provides us with tremendous insight into establishing priorities within our existing relationship dynamics.  Within the present situation, it sounds as though you have very much become the "go to person" and have begun to cater to the needs of your significant other.  The question to consider as this occurs is: "Are my needs being met by him and is he reciprocating the effort I am demonstrating?"  If the answer is no, some thoughtful consideration and careful discernment should follow.  Ultimately, the "balance of the dance" must be reciprocal.  When one individual within a relationship setting begins to contribute more than the other over an extended period of time without return, the balance becomes out of sync and inequality begins to exist.  Returning to a more respectful partnership that is mindful of the needs of both individuals, requires trust, vulnerability, transparency, and communication.  Sometimes, working with a counselor to identify proper modes and methodologies of communication to employ within the framework, assists in navigating the uncertainties and anxiety that might arise.