I have a pet peeve that is growing larger by the day. I get annoyed when people say they want something from a partner, and then follow the statement with a qualification.
For example, a man says to a woman, "I just want to hold you," and then he continues with "but if you want to do more, that's good, too." The first part of the sentence is a total lie. He doesn't just want to hold her. He makes that clear with the second part of the sentence. He said it to try to communicate that he appreciates her for more than sex, but he accomplished the opposite.
Then there's Hubby's famous, "I want you to be happy, but I don't want you to have sex with anyone but me." I looked him in the eye and said, "You don't want me to be happy. You want me to behave the way you want me to behave, and you want me to be happy doing it. That's what you want." He agreed. When you love someone, the first half of one of these sentences hurts because you know it's not true. I'd much rather he say, "I love you, and I want you to find a way to be happy only having sex with me." That makes his wants clear and still communicates that I'm important to him.
Here's a common one. "I want you to feel free to say what you think and feel, but.........." You can fill in the rest of the sentence after the "but" with all sorts of things, but it doesn't really matter. What is actually communicated ranges from "I'd rather you not express your thoughts and feelings about this topic," at best, to "I wish you would shut the fuck up about your feelings. I can't handle them anymore and I don't care," at worst.
There are many more examples I could give, but I think you get the point.
I wish people would just say what they really want. Men think they are softening the blow of what they are saying after the but by including the first half of the sentence. In reality, it heightens the anxiety about what's following and what it may mean.
I know some people may say, "That's just semantics," or "Women over think everything." The first objection is simply not true. The second one is probably true to some degree, but if you want to play with us you need to speak our language. And maybe it's not that women over think everything, but that men under think it all.
The truth is that it's not about thinking as much as it's about communication, how what you said has been received. When the communication is clear, everything is a lot easier.