The three stages of David Deida

This is a brief introduction to the three evolutionary stages presented in David Deida's work. I have chosen to abbreviate them as "DD1", "DD2" and "DD3" in other writing on this site. For more thorough and accurate information, please refer to his books.

DD1: The submissive housewife and the macho breadwinner

This stage has been the predominant stage globally up until quite recent times. It is characterised by strictly defined and rigidly upheld gender roles. The man is out in the world bringing home the food and the woman is at home caring for the children. The man dominates the woman with threats of physical violence and withholding of resources and the woman dominates the man with threats of emotional violence and withholding of sex. Intimate partners acting out of DD1 use their lover/spouse as a means to satisfy their own needs, selfishly manipulating the other to get what they desire. They tend to judge themselves by external factors, be it the size of their paycheck or the impeccability of their perfect household. Whenever we focus on ourselves and how we appear to others, we are in a first stage moment.

Modern caricatures of this stage are the big-spending gold digger, the too-good-to-be-true mother of 50s TV shows, the angry hip hop gangster and the money-hungry TV preacher.

DD 2: The working girl and the sensitive flow boy

The cultural emergence of this stage started in paralell with feminism and the gender equality movement. In the 2nd stage, people seek to become more integrated human beings. The emergence of DD2 has lead to women embracing masculine values and opportunities, becoming tougher amd more independent, and men have embraced feminine flow and emotions, becoming more open and relating. Where people acting out of a first stage moment seek approval through their possessions and appearance, people in a second stage moment want to be appreciated for what they can do. Value is primarily determined by internal properties of the self.

The 2nd stage is very concerned that things should be done the right and proper way, and considers it important not to rock the boat too much. We gladly accept people's boundaries, even when they wish we didn't, and try not to escalate conflict. In intimate relationships, the tension of polarity often disappears and is replaced by a withholding of depth, often felt as repulsive by both partners. In societies, second stage is expressed as an aversion to conflict and an almost suffocating political correctness. You're not allowed to judge or rank people, and everybody agrees to disagree.

The second stage individual is generally stuck in a perpetual self-improvement cycle that seems to lead nowhere, as the development often goes away from our true nature as opposed to towards. Happiness always looms on the horizon, but never quite arrives.

Modern caricatures of stage 2 are the directed female headhunter and career surgeon, and the male crystal healer and emo singer-songwriter.

DD 3: The radiant goddess and the warrior of love

For those rare souls fortunate enough to experience it, this stage is supposedly characterized as an ongoing state of gifting yourself to the world and your partner. The woman offers her divine radiance in service of her partner and the world, opening them up with the deep flow of her awesome life force and beauty. The man offers his unending integrity and stability, as an expression of his desire to penetrate the world with truth and love. This stage is not necessarily calm or peaceful, as the politically correct stage two prefers. These individuals know freeedom and love intimately and consciously choose not to repress their true nature, which may offend those of lesser development. When a person expresses him- or herself through a third stage moment, their intention is to serve the world – or the people in it – in their opening to truth and love. Sometimes, their service won't be appreciated, but since a person in a third stage moment has transcended the need to be validated by external or internal factors, it matters little.

In intimate relationships, the feminine third stage is expressed as pure, unfiltered life energy, bursting with love, expressed as wild storms or warm summer breezes. She is an oracle, a pure expression of the feminine, of nature Herself. She serves her man by seducing him out of his narrow-minded focus on getting things done, by sexing him out of his head and into his body, by shivering earthquakes of anger through her body as she hurls hail storms at him for being less than he is capable of. The man serves her in return by remaining unperturbed, unaffected by her wild emotions, pressing into her with his presence and love, as they both melt and fuse in the throes of ecstasy.

Who knows what a society filled with individuals operating from this stage would look like. Let's find out!

Discuss the article below:

  • Pingback: » Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring()

  • Pingback: Blog » Masculinity Movies()

  • Pingback: Understanding the deeper level of integrity and why it’s important to your wellbeing » Masculinity Movies()

  • Pingback: Lord of War » Masculinity Movies()

  • Pingback: American Beauty » Masculinity Movies()

  • Claudia

    thanks for this nice post, as a 46 y.o. female I relate to it a lot. No suggestions about existing movies on the third stage? :)

  • Woo – that’s a hard one, Claudia. I can’t think of any right now to be honest (although I remember having been asked the question before). But when I do, it would be a good candidate for the site, no?

    Thanks for tuning in to tell me that you liked what you read. It feels more meaningful that way.

  • Jeff

    Lets find out indeed!
    I enjoyed this post simply becuase it was direct and to the point. Wonderfully succinct.

  • As a woman who is in what Deida would call DD3 stage, may I just applaud you for this site!  I started laughing when I saw some of the photos you have put up of movie heroes. I have chosen some of the exact same ones for my site.  I am a woman, a Goddess, if you will, who is doing her best to help women and men connect to that deep energy, that wonderful primal sense of who we really are.  Believe it or not, I have the toughest time getting through to women!  They are afraid if they let go of how much male energy they are bringing in, they will become weak. AAAuuugghhh!!!  I do my best to help them to understand if they would just tap into really being female, they would pull up so much more power.  Granted, we all have some of male and female within, but really connecting to you source of femininity for a female, or masculinity for a male is amazingly powerful.

    Now, as far as you helping men be more MEN, Thank you!!!!  I am so sick of wimpy men!  Women like me want REAL MEN!  In my heart, I feel each man has this energy deep within.  When a man does not experience his warrior energy, he may become depressed, overeat, become a bully or become a weak, wimpy man. Yuck! So thank you, thank you for what you are writing! If you ever want to know what a Goddess thinks…ask me:) ~~***Kathleen

  • Sandra

    really enjoy your thoughts on the journey, you have added a lot of new thoughts to movies I have seen.  As far as DD1, DD2, and DD3, personally I think that is too few categories.  Am looking forward to any new developments.   There are many movies that have come into my mind that you have not reviewed.  It seems movies and all events  have something to teach,  to those who will learn.

  • Kathleen,

    This “They are afraid if they let go of how much male energy they are bringing in, they will become weak.” speaks to me. I’m not surprised. Though I can relate as well. I know how fearful I am at times of being “feminine”, to the point that I became less mature/masculine in my attempt to be the shit. I think we are generally afraid of animating feminine values and ways of being.

    I love the energy in what you write, though I’m in the process of now embracing my inner wimp. :-)

  • Hi Sandra,

    What categories would you like to see added to David Deida’s system?

    “It seems movies and all events have something to teach, to those who will learn.” True. But a lot of this has a tendency of remaining head knowledge until we really challenge ourselves to live it in the flesh and blood.

  • Hi  Eivind,

    Let me explain to you what I think a wimp is;)

    To me, a DD3 Goddess;) a wimp is a man who never learned to think for himself.  He is still controlled by all those around him.  A wimp is a man who will not search out truth on his own, with his own energy.  He will just accept what others tell him, even when he gets that gut feeling that it is not true or right for him.

    A warrior owns his own truth.  Even when he doesn’t understand something, he admits it to himself, and then will take the time to educate himself.  He is not a man others cannot talk with and get there own interpretation out. He will be polite and listen, to an extent, and if he does not agree with what they are presenting, he will allow them their truth, but stay true to his own.  A warrior also is not a coward as far as saying, “You know what? I have learned more about “whatever” and now I have changed my mind. Just because something was a truth yesterday, does not mean it will be a truth today.

    A warrior seeks knowledge. He is not afraid to be sad, hurt, or confused. He knows these are natural human emotions.  He does not however give up. He might need some quiet time to lick his wounds and heal, but then he will get up on his feet and seek knowledge to find out what went wrong and how he can live that situation better the next time.

    So as far as I am concerned, you are not a wimp Eivind. You are a man seeking knowledge. Just like the other men on this site.  You didn’t give up.  You keep searching for your freedom from this perplexity.  You all have my respect for what you are working at with this site. Thanks Gentlemen, Kathleen

  • I do all those things for sure. And yeah – my impression is that my readers and contributors do the same. Many good men are part of this community.

    And yet – the road to maturity is long. But I thank you for your good words and recognition of the hardship entailed in finding my own answers. I know it is only because you have and still do travel that path yourself.

    I appreciate your support, Kathleen! We share a moment on this planet with magnificent potential. It is exciting. Don’t you find?


  • Yes, Eivind, I do think we share a wonderful moment on this planet.  I believe all people have that magnificent potential within:)  It is very exciting to blossom into your true essence.   It is equally exciting to see others recognize just how wonderful, and amazing their true self really is.  Keep up the good work my friend! Blessings, Kathleen

  • Cinderella

    Hey Kathleen, having read your posts it sounds to me that you’re really at first stage DD1 aspiring to be DD3.

    As to what purpose is it to keep stating that you’re a DD3 woman/goddess (if not to get external validation) while calling men wimpy and yuck as opposed to you aching for them to be the real men that they could be?

    Frustration with underlying love is one thing but disgust is something else… think about it.

  • JMP

    What a fantastic article, I’ve now been on a journey of self improvement for nearly two years with a coach who offers a very deep insight into the very polarity of masculinity and femininity as women and men define it, this journey has not been easy but the results have been life altering.

    I was very lucky to be in a very brief but what can only be described “DD3″ relationship, I say brief as both of us were still on a very long voyage of self discovery and we both continue to seek out and work on areas of ourselves that we need to improve, and we were both very honest and direct with each other before we parted ways.

    What is great is I continue to attract women who are feminine, confident, inspiring and have cornerstones of character, and when I can offer my masculinity back and they fully appreciate it, it’s a very inspiring experience.

    I see Kathleen as a woman who is crying out for “real men” to come back into her life, this website and all it’s content would help many men get back on to seeing who they really are, and at the moment it’s a very rare sight to find a man who can be there for a woman at every level. 

  • Pingback: Awaken(D)()

  • Pingback: Os 3 estágios do homem | Blog do Soldado()

  • Pingback: Soldier's Lifestyle()

  • Pingback: The Fifty Shades of Grey Phenomenon Explained – Annie Zhu()

  • Chalf

    Hi Einvind. I love your site. I feel a good example of a ‘dd3′ type movie would be the story of Jay Moriarity in ‘Chasing Mavericks.’ I especially like the final scene when Jay’s mentor reads his letter. It’s a great movie and does a good job portraying the male hero archetype!

  • Who wants me? I’m here
  • Women are becoming more like men. They are not having children.

Tired of being a nice, domesticated man? Time to take a chance in life and offer your gifts to a burning world?

If so, would you like to join a tribe of hundreds of men all over the world who are committed to inner and outer growth? Would you like to stay up to date on the latest developments on this site?

And would you like to receive a unique introduction to the archetypal system King, Warrior, Magician, Lover, for which this website is famous?

Then sign up now and join us as we co-create a better world.

I look forward to getting to know you!

Eivind, founder

Read previous post:

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring review is now up. Ouch, this one hurts a bit.