I think the importance of trying to define such terms is closely tied to the expansion of love that poly offers. And the need to understand what might be called different levels of connectedness.
With conventional mono relationships there is a certain expectation of a level of 'passion' (sexual attraction/chemistry?) as part of the equation in order to fully qualify as 'love'. . In other words - a strong sexual desire component. (yes there can be exceptions)
But moving over to poly it becomes much more apparent that there is no black & white - but an endless variation of shades of grey. And this is what causes a lot of confusion and problems. Because for a majority of us, our reference point is the mono world and the "we have the hots for each other" definition of love.
As someone else was discussing, and it's especially true to poly, you eventually find yourself addressing some comparative terms trying to understand it. Such as platonic/romantic, compassionate/passionate etc. This has the effect of trying to hold to that B/W catagorization.
But soon, most discover that it really isn't B/W and that trying to make it so (or dealing with someone who can only understand it in that context) causes huge problems.
Because how we attach to others isn't B/W ! We have various levels of attachment (use the 1-10 scale if you wish) and this applies to both the compassionate as well as the Passionate side. And what makes it worse is that these levels are NOT static ! They change over time with experiences shared and time lived. Peaks and valleys - not just some linear progression from point A to point B.
So this is where you see many less than functional relationships take root. Dependency/co-dependency. Roommate syndrome. The complete spectrum. And we see it constantly here as people come forth with their "all or nothing" dreams and approaches.
Maybe a more sensible and wiser approach is to grab onto that 1-10 scale approach and just let it be where it is TODAY. Yesterday it was somewhere else and tomorrow it likely will be too.
Especially in the realm of........romantic......love (sexual attraction/passion etc) . One or two 'sessions' does not necessarilly define where that connection may end up. I think we all know that but still default to judging early on. Then you have situations we see here all the time where the message - NOT openly and clearly conveyed, is "I'm not into you (sexually) that much". "It didn't really work great for me".
The mistake I think most of us frequently make here is not knowing how to convey that in a sensitive manner and letting the 'other' side of the equation (compassion/platonic etc) slip away as well.
New skills..............more practice.............