The song was written by Scooter Carusoe and Lady Goodman (pen names for Travis Hill and Holly Gleason, respectively). Chesney told The Boot
why he recorded the tune. "I am that guy in 'Better as a Memory,'" he said. "I think this is the letter that I've written three or four times in my life to people. It's the perfect definition of a carefree spirit. We all have relationships with people, and we all give what we can."
"You know, there's a bit of me in some songs and a lot of me in a lot of them," Chesney added. "This is definitely one of them that that really defines me right now. When I wrote those letters, I was 'better as a memory' than as their man… I promise you.'"