Photography by Zyaire Porter.
As a couple who thrives off patience and tough love, they constantly support one another’s creative endeavors. Nicky Garcia handles content creation and social media for Sway Calloway’s Sway Universe and manages rising R&B duo, Jake&Papa, while Zyaire Porter is a professional photographer and founder of Porterhouse LA. As busy as they are though, Nicky and Zyaire make sure to nurture their relationship, and explore the world, city to city, together.
When traveling to New Orleans recently, the couple documented their adventure and sat down to talk about their first kiss and what love means to them.
NICKY GARCIA: How do you define love? I’ll go first, I would define love as a root from which other feelings branch out from. I may be mad or hurt, but those feelings come from the root of it all, which is that I love you. I really care for you. To me, love is a very unconditional, selfless feeling. You can add ego and other bullshit, but when stripped down to its core, it’s love.
ZYAIRE PORTER: Love is a fact. It [goes] beyond feelings, and beyond the materialistic and stereotypes. When you can look past situations, and realize that you honestly still love that person and love them for who they are, then love becomes a fact, and not a feeling. Once love becomes a fact and not a feeling, that’s when you know it’s real.
NICKY: So it’s real, babe? [Silence] Hey! You can’t hear that look on your face! [Laughs] How did you first learn about love or from whom?
ZYAIRE: Jasmine and Aladdin.
NICKY: Really? That’s where you learned it from?
ZYAIRE: From the beginning, yes. It’s the first movie I saw love in, and I was a kid. It was one of the first Disney movies I’d ever seen.
NICKY: Damn! Okay. I would say, for me, I learned about love from my brothers; It goes back to my thinking of love being a root type of feeling. We could be mad at each other, but we always have each other’s backs, no matter what. Even when very young, we were best friends. What about me revitalizes you?
ZYAIRE: The amount of trust you have in me as your man. Knowing that you trust me that much to care for you. Take care of all things. Knowing that you depend on me revitalizes me.
NICKY: That’s sweet. [Laughs] What revitalizes me about you would be your passion and your drive; it’s so unstoppable.
ZYAIRE: Vroom, vroom.
NICKY: Vroom vroom. [Laughs] There’s no road block that can ever get in your way. You’re able to knock things down.
ZYAIRE: You can too, you can break them down too.
NICKY: When I see you go, I’m like, Go babe, go! I’m on the sidelines, making sure I have water for you, and getting out of your way. [Laughs]
ZYAIRE: No, you don’t get out of my way all the time. Sometimes you stay right there.
NICKY: I’m like, Babe, kiss me. [Laughs] What role does love play in your creativity or career?
NICKY: For me, you’re the bed at the end of the day. When I have a long ass day, I can fall back and trust that you’re going to be there to soften that fall. As far as creativity, a lot of the creative things I think of I can bounce off of you because I value your creativity and your mind. I trust those type of conversations, and I wouldn’t have them with anyone but you. What have I taught you about love?
ZYAIRE: Patience. No matter how much patience you have, you can never have enough of it.
NICKY: Hm, what have you taught me about love…
ZYAIRE: [Sings] “What is love?”
NICKY: [Sings] “Baby, don’t hurt me.” You’ve taught me about tough love.
ZYAIRE: The logical side of love?
NICKY: No. I think with you, it’s about tough love. You roughen up my edges, but I know that you have good intentions. You’re not all butterflies and kisses and shit.
ZYAIRE: I’m not butterflies and kisses at all.
NICKY: At all, bro. Yeah, and also you’re my best friend–a real best friend.
ZYAIRE: There’s still stuff that you don’t tell me.
NICKY: [Whispers] If you whisper, they can’t hear you.
ZYAIRE: [Whispers] There’s still stuff that you don’t tell me.
NICKY: That’s girl stuff you don’t care about. How would you describe me to other people?
ZYAIRE: Silly, funny, caring, and loving.
NICKY: I would describe you as…
ZYAIRE: Be honest. [Laughs]
NICKY: You’re my best friend. You’re passionate, driven, and your creativity is unmatched. What were you thinking right before you kissed me for the first time?
ZYAIRE: I don’t remember. I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe, Move in for the cue. Attack. [Laughs]
NICKY: Remember what you said right before?
NICKY: What’d you say?
ZYAIRE: ‘Don’t get that close. It’s dangerous.’
NICKY: There was a moment before, where I almost kissed you…
ZYAIRE: No, you didn’t.
NICKY: Yeah. When we were at IHOP…
ZYAIRE: Three years later, and now you’re telling me…
NICKY: I know. We were waiting for a table, and we were standing right in front of each other really close. I think you were hugging me. Yeah, you had your arms around my waist and we were looking at each other. I almost went in for the kiss, and I was like, Wait, no no no. Reel back, Nicole. Reel back! [Laughs] How is love different for you now than when you first fell in love?
ZYAIRE: It’s different now because it’s not so much about getting to know you; now it’s about, now that I know you, what am I gonna do with that information? Now that I know everything, or hopefully I know everything, it’s more about how am I going to nurture and use what I know to my benefit or the benefit of our relationship.
NICKY: Good answer! I feel the same way. It’s easy to love somebody when you’re first getting to know them… You’re like, He’s funny? What? And he’s got a cute little dimple there?
ZYAIRE: You’re being cheesy.
NICKY: I’m being hella cheesy. Last question, how do you know when it’s love?
ZYAIRE: There wasn’t one specific moment [with us]; over a course of time, I knew it was love through seeing you try and how you’d react to things. It was an accumulation of experiences…it all added up.
NICKY: How do I know when it’s love? I can’t really describe it, but it’s a feeling of not wanting to be without you. I don’t mean I can’t last a few days, but…
ZYAIRE: You can’t.
NICKY: [Laughs] There’s a place in my life that you nuzzled yourself in. Now, you’re there. You’re like a fucking Jenga puzzle piece, and if it’s taken out, things fall.