Chris Dubois recalled the story of writing the song to The Boot
: "Brad and I talked prior to him starting the creative process for [American Saturday Night
]. He felt pretty strongly that he wanted to come out with a love song - a ballad - which was kind of a change of pace for him," he recalled. "So, I went to my buddy Ashley, [who] is a great piano ballad writer."
"We stumbled across the title, 'I thought I loved you then. When we found that idea, we thought there was really something to it," Dubois continued. "I called Brad, told him the idea, and he loved it."
"Our goal was to write a song that wasn't necessarily for songwriter acclaim," he added. "It was really just something we could play for our wives that would touch them. Our wives are not in the music business. If we could make our wives cry, we figured we could reach the general public. That's really what matters when it comes right down to it."
"We took a long time on that song," Dubois concluded. "We probably got together six or seven times and got it to where we all felt good about it. When we finally got to the last day we worked on it, there were a couple buddies of ours that were over at Brad's house working on a different song, and we called them in and played it for them. They just flipped out. I think we knew then that it was right, that it was done. And then we went home and played it for our wives, and they freaked out, so we felt pretty good about it!"