I think what I hear you saying is that you want to know what aspects of the relationship you can depend on. What aspects will be there consistently. When we are used to monogamy this means sexual exclusivity. So what is the replacement in poly?
The short answer is that it is whatever you agree on. I will return to this momentarily.
The second thing we are taught with default societal view is that people become "couples," and identify as one half of a whole. Can't use that thought process in poly. Too many possible configurations. Hopefully Marcus will chime in as he excels at explaining this, but try to view yourself as an individual first foremost who loves another individual.
We are taught that ones self identiy is partially tied to who they are with. And we think we are going to feel all warm and fuzzy when we can announce to the world that are someone else's main squeeze, because now part of our self-identity is that someone wants us. Kind of hard to let go of that way of looking at things. Doesn't mean that wanting to be with someone, and someone wanting to be with us is unimportant, but we don't use it for self-identification purposes.
So back to your original question. Given the emotional baggage with the word commitment, perhaps a better way of approaching it would be to say, here is what I need in our relationship (whatever they are) - and give specific things. I will give examples:
I need to be able to talk to you at least once a day.
I need a good night text every night.
When he lives closer, I need to see you twice a week.
Don't add your wants to the list; just your needs. You can tell him your wants, but it would be something along the lines of I'd like to see you 4 times per week, but I need to see you at least twice a week.
Anyway, this approach is likely to give you some sense of consistency which is what I think is what you are saying.
As for his concept of love, perhaps his actions speak louder than his words.