Men shave because women prefer clean shaven men. This tidy generalization was presented to me as a law when I got divorced and suddenly found myself back in the market. True? Who knows. Perception is everything.
When I turned 65, with women firmly in the rearview mirror, I quit. Beards are itchy, so like your guys, I just run clippers over my face about once a week, leaving it in the limbo you describe.
Don’t know the social implications. Don’t care. Works for me. :)