He sounds like he wants to be polysexual
not polyamorous to me.
1: He says he doesn't 'love', he has never been 'in love'. He says he can really, really like somebody and that he feels lust .. but not love.
I subscribe to love theory. Could print triangle chart.
Have him point to the one he is on. You point to the one you are on. Sort it out so you each understand where you each are coming from. Maybe you just need different vocab to describe what you feel toward each other?
And then just let it go and be ok doing loving behavior toward one another?
I think he sometimes uses this claim as a way to keep things at an arms length if he is feeling unsure.
Up you you if you want to date someone who does this chronically. I would find it tiresome and an impediment to sharing emotional intimacy -- always being "stiff armed" away.
2: I am happy to explore having some type of poly relationship. As stated above, I am not 100% sure whether, for him, this means just seeing others as a 'couple' or, if having distinct, separate relationships is also on the table
Could ask him to clarify what it means for him.
And could make him aware of what it would mean for YOU.
Could cover things like
- What sort of open model you'd be willing / not willing to practice.
- Talk about jealousy and more jealousy.
- How you plan to cope with potential pitfalls and more pitfalls.
- What safer sex practices and labs are expected. How to deal with accidental std or pregnancy.
- What are the boundaries? (could looking at these worksheets help you define them?)
- What are dealbreakers? How you want to be toward each other if/when you come to a breaking up place -- good exes and friends or good exes that just walk away? If you can't talk about now when it is good? Sure don't want to be first talking about it if/when it goes nuts.
And so on.
Could map it out to see if you both are even compatible polyship partners sharing the same idea of polyshipping or not before jumping in to polyship together. Make sure you are both on the same page first.
You are responsible for your own preparedness.