On The Border was the Eagles third album, and like their first two, they started recording it in London with producer Glyn Johns. This time, the band abandoned the sessions and recorded most of the album with Bill Szymczyk. Glyn Johns thought of the Eagles as an acoustic act, and helped them create several hits with this sound, including "Witchy Woman" and "Peaceful Easy Feeling." The band members, especially Glenn Frey, thought they should be rocking harder, and the Eagles eventually found success with rockers like "Life In The Fast Lane" and "Heartache Tonight." This song was one of two that was leftover from the Glyn Johns sessions and included on On The Border, and it became the Eagles first #1 hit.
This song is often played at weddings and anywhere else one wants to demonstrate affection, but it's really a breakup song: "You see it your way, and I see it mine, and we both see it slipping away." No happy ending here, just a guy who gave it his best, but things didn't work out.
According to Don Henley, he Souther and Frey wrote some of the lyrics over libations at the Los Angeles restaurant Dan Tana's where they were regulars. There, they studied women and relationships. Henley says they were "typical, frustrated, young men" at the time.