The song was written and recorded by Gaye in the singer's recording studio in 1978 in sessions culled from the recording of Gaye's albums, Here, My Dear and The Ballads. The song was written around the time that Gaye had finalized his divorce from Anna Gordy and was struggling in his second marriage to Janis. It's unclear if Gaye had wanted to include the song in The Ballads as when the posthumous Vulnerable album came out in 1997, the song was left off of the track listing.
Instead, following Marvin's death, Columbia Records worked with Gaye's former label, Motown, to bring leftover songs to fulfill Gaye's contractual obligations to Columbia (he had signed a three-album deal in 1982). "Just Like" was one of the songs brought up to discussion and was agreed to be placed on the posthumous 1985 album, Romantically Yours. "Just Like" was later released as a single but failed to chart.