Established country songwriters often tell aspiring writers to "write what you know," and Brett Young took this tip to heart when writing the "Like I Loved You" lyrics.

In an interview with his label, Big Machine Label Group, the singer confesses that the song — his latest single — came from an all-too-real emotion when a girlfriend broke up with him and suggested "but we can still be friends."

“Being on the receiving end of that, it was hard," he admits. "I mean it almost felt as if they had already ended it in their heart and moved on and they were ready for that. And when you’re not, it makes you feel very disconnected from a relationship that you were very involved in emotionally.”

Young co-wrote the song with Jesse Lee shortly after they had a conversation about the "we can still be friends" line he'd been fed.

Brett Young On Set at the 2017 RISERS Shoot

“We both got very, very spirited about that topic and realized if we both care this much we’ve got to write this one," Young recalls. "And I’ve been a big fan of this song since we wrote it, so not only am I glad it made the record I’m really happy that it’s the single.”

In a previous interview with the Boot, Young said that he was really stalled on his “Like I Loved You” lyrics until eating lunch with his co-writer led to an unexpected breakthrough. Young and Lee were stuck in a fruitless writing session for two-and-a-half hours before deciding to try to break out of the rut.

“We did the ceremonial, ‘Let’s go to lunch to try and get out of the room,'” he recalls.  “We’re sitting at lunch, and she started telling one of her — we all have our horror stories in relationships. Within the conversation, she said something like, ‘And then, at the end of it, he asked me if we could still be friends.’ She got so fired up; she’s like, ‘Who thinks that that’s ever a good idea?’ She started flipping out about it.”

Watch Brett Young Perform "In Case You Didn't Know" for RISERS

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