This song was written and produced by Jonah Ellis, who co-wrote the 1981 Yarbrough & Peoples #1 R&B hit "Don't Stop The Music." Ellis got the idea for the song when he was 19 years old. He returned home from college and found out from a friend that his girlfriend was cheating on him. They broke up, but he started dating the girl who broke the bad news to him, and a few years later he wrote the song based on those events. The storyline worked well for Yarbrough & Peoples, who were the real-life couple of Cavin Yarbrough and Alisa Peoples, and "Don't Waste Your Time" also went to #1 on the R&B charts.
The guy who plays the love interest of the cheating girlfriend in the video is Ice-T, who had recently gotten into acting. The was in an episode of the TV series Fame in 1983, and appeared in the movie Breakin' in 1984.