Whenever I see a question about what girls like in guys (I found out that looks supposedly matter less then personality to girls) I always find unrealistic expectations on how a guy should be, such as:
"He should be confident, but not cocky"
Which makes no sense. Because if you are confident, it means you think highly of yourself, which also means 'ego'. And it's impossible to find someone that is confident AND doesn't think his own sh*t doesn't stink. They are either a douche bag, modest, or have no self confidence at all. Being confident MAKES you a cocky a**hole, because since the guy thinks he looks so good, or can lift 100 kg in bench press, he thinks he can treat girls like crap since there are girls all over him.
Most Helpful Girl
Sure, confidence can lead to cockiness, but there is a difference and not everyone who is confident becomes cocky.
RimandLea said it well when she said, "Confident is someone who knows himself well, knows what he wants, is assertive. Cocky is someone who believes he is above everyone else, thinks he's super awesome, etc."
I consider my partner to be someone who is confident but not cocky. He is assertive and knows that he is capable of nearly anything if he puts his mind to it. He doesn't treat girls like crap.
I guess you could describe his confidence as "quiet". If there's something that he needs to do, even if he doesn't know how to do it, he never complains that he doesn't know how to do it or gives up without really trying (as someone who isn't confident in themselves might do), nor does he act like he knows everything (cocky). He just goes about it and keeps trying until he accomplishes what he set out to do, and he doesn't brag about how awesome he is afterward.
To use your example of being able to lift 100kg in a bench press: if my partner did that, he wouldn't go around bragging about it, trying to get people to watch him do it, and/or acting like he was the greatest thing ever. He might tell me about it, but it would be that he was proud of himself for being able to accomplish that, there wouldn't be any arrogance behind it.
In social situations, he doesn't walk into the room like he's god's gift to women. He's confident in himself, so he feels comfortable talking to people, but he doesn't feel the need to show off. He realizes that not everyone is going to like him, but he's okay with that, he just acts like himself and has a good time. He doesn't feel the need to be the center of attention, so he isn't loud and obnoxious, he listens to what other people have to say and doesn't speak over them or act uninterested.
In our relationship, he doesn't act like he needs to dominate the relationship or make all the decisions. He respects me and my ideas and treats me as an equal. He's willing to let his guard down and doesn't feel the need to prove that he's the man. He doesn't treat me any differently when his friends are around because he needs to show them that he's the man of the house. He's comfortable enough with himself that he doesn't care what they think and he won't change himself to meet their expectations because he's confident in the expectations he sets for himself and doesn't feel the need to impress them.
From your question, it almost sounds like you think that guys with confidence are all stereotypically attractive, buff guys who always have girls all over them, but that isn't the case. My partner, for example, is actually kind of on the nerdy side. He does have quite a few girls that are attracted to him, but I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he has a great personality, is funny, treats people well, is approachable and friendly, puts himself out there, but isn't obnoxious or trying to show off, and3