I just interacted with a “newbie” 2 or 3 weeks ago. He explained to me that he knew he wasn’t ready to date and meet people yet, but he wanted to see what the climate looked like. He needed to get his feet wet by talking/texting women. He knew he needed to heal more from his latest relationship. But I can see that he wants to move towards dating eventually when he feels ready.
It’s a stepping point for many people. It’s more fear-based than based on manipulation/misleading. It does seem to be a real (though unacknowledged) catagory out there.
Thanks for reading and responding, Shannon Ashley!