The original single was banned by the BBC because of the controversial cover (an alternative cover was released in some places). As Sting described: "The reason they [the BBC] had a problem with "Can't Stand Losing You" was because the photo on the cover of the single had Stewart standing on a block of ice with a noose around his neck, waiting for the ice to melt." Despite this, or perhaps because of the extra attention from the controversy, it became the group's first single to break the charts, and has held a spot in their live sets ever since it was written.
The original single capped at number 42 in late 1978, but the June 1979 reissue nearly topped the UK Singles charts, held off only by "I Don't Like Mondays" by The Boomtown Rats. "Can't Stand Losing You" also appeared on the UK singles charts in 1980, as part of the Six Pack singles compilation set. The package (consisting of six 7" vinyl singles) peaked at number 17 on the UK charts in June 1980. In 1995, a live version of the song was released as a single and reached number 27 in the charts.
Two music videos exist for the song. One features the group playing the song on a stage with Sting wearing huge glasses. Slow motion shots of the group live appear as well. The second features the group performing the song in front of a red backdrop. This was filmed on the same day as the red backdropped version of "Roxanne".
"Dead End Job", the B-side of "Can't Stand Losing You", is based on a riff Copeland wrote in high school. The song is composed in a punk rock format, and contains many expletives. Sting's lyrics mention being a teacher as a dead end job, which was his job before joining The Police. The song was only available on vinyl until the release of 1993's Message in a Box.