Melissa and Kevin Quinter met while attending Lock Haven University in central Pennsylvania. Kevin grew up in Wyomissing, and Melissa is a transplant from Delaware County. After they married, they bought a home in Wyomissing where they raised a beautiful family here in a community they love. In July 2021, Kevin and Melissa will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. For those of us who have journeyed the long and winding road which leads to celebrating this milestone, we understand that time and life itself can take its toll on even the best relationships, leaving couples scratching their heads and searching for the relationship, which was once exuberant, exciting, and filled with romance.
“Once we became parents, 90 percent of our time was spent on kid-related activities,” recalls Kevin. “We would try to do date nights, but either we didn’t have the money to go out, or we were too tired to go out.” Melissa was a stay-at-home mom, immersing herself in raising three children while thoroughly enjoying her role as a homemaker. The couple focused their efforts on family and have seen each child through to young adulthood as their nest requires less and less tending, and their children venture out into the world. Their first born, Connor, is attending pharmacy school at the University of Pittsburgh; daughter Kaylee is at York College studying nursing; their youngest daughter, Ainsley, is a junior at Wyomissing High School. “It was definitely a shock to both of us,” said Melissa. “Our time has always revolved around them, and when Connor and Kaylee first went away to college, it was so hard to have them here and then not here. It happened so fast, and we were shell-shocked. We had to get used to it; it is a withdrawal, and it’s hard.”
Life for the Quinters took a turn, and changes which can often shake the foundation of the strongest marriages left them scrambling for ways to revisit and strengthen their marriage in a whole new way. It was not easy. “I enjoy bike riding,” said Kevin, "and I ride competitively.” But Kevin’s idea to buy Melissa a bike did not go over well. “I am polar opposite,” she explained. “I don’t like riding a bike near cars or riding up hills. I loved being in the house, being there for the kids.” Kevin credits Melissa with coming up with a unique idea which prompted a weekly “date” and an opportunity for them to become reacquainted. “With our free time, we always had individual hobbies, but we needed to figure out what we could do together. We really wanted to get to be number one to each other.” Her brainstorm was to visit a different coffee shop or café each week over the course of the year – 52 dates in all. “We drink a lot of coffee!” she said.
Beginning January 2020, the couple made the plan for 52 coffee dates in 2020. Unfortunately, the Covid pandemic threw a wrench into their plan, including vacations they had scheduled to places where coffee shops were plentiful. Nevertheless, at the close of 2020 Kevin and Melissa had managed to enjoy 32 coffee dates, and some very memorable times together.
The holidays are traditionally a time of revisiting the romance that drew couples of all ages together. Kevin and Melissa have discovered that this can happen every time you turn your focus away from the distractions of daily life and toward one another. “I don’t like to say you have to force it, but you have to make the time for it. Sometimes you are tired, but once you get there it is worth the effort,” says Kevin. Melissa adds, “You have to be open to trying new things, and you really have to claim it. We have to regain that connection and remember that your first love is right there in front of you.”