In the album's track-by-track commentary, Morissette explained the song's meaning and recalled the emotional songwriting/recording session: "There were three distinct chapters in the relationship I was in when I wrote 'That Particular Time' that I really wanted to share. And I remember saying to him at the time - because we were talking about breaking up - 'Love stays, love stays!' And he would kind of look at me like, huh? Then I remember stepping back from that and thinking, 'you know what? Love doesn't always stay, sometimes love leaves, sometimes love stays, sometimes love steps back and there are so many different forms that love can take in a relationship.' And it did, it took many different forms, and I was beating myself up for a long time for being in a relationship that just didn't feel right. But then I realized that it was a very loving act for me to stick it out for a minute or two to really kind of see whether there was something worth continuing to explore in a romantic way. And when I wrote that song and recorded it - because I wrote it and recorded it the same time - I just couldn't stop crying because I wrote it right at the time where the last verse was applicable to that moment. The other two verses were more written in retrospect, but I couldn't stop crying and the sweet engineers that I was working with, they just came into the room with a box of Kleenex and put it down and I said, 'I'll be back in a second.' And then that was it, that was the take. So it was a very emotional recording of that song. I really wanted to keep that vocal and keep as much of the energy of that song as I possibly could, and we wound up keeping a lot of it."