I have a similar situation to you I can share actually. I'm a high school player, and at my local courts there are some older guys who aren't bad, but aren't that good either. If I were to play them in sets, I wouldn't waste my energy going for harder shots. Maybe I'd serve and volley some for giggles, but in general I'd hit rally balls. They're consistent for a bit, but if we eat hit about 5 balls in a rally I could be sure that they'd cough up an error soon after. Is that pushing?
I consider pushing to be just putting the ball back into play with no attempt at pace, spin, or direction. Just getting the ball over the net as much as possible. I don't consider patiently playing and waiting for an inevitable mistake pushing.