"I Don't Want To" is a song recorded by American R&B singer Toni Braxton for her second studio album, Secrets (1996). It was released as the third single from the album on March 11, 1997; in the United States it was released as a double A-side with "I Love Me Some Him". Written and produced by R. Kelly, the R&Bballad describes the agony of a break-up. The song was well received by music critics, who were complimentary with Kelly's production.
The music video was shot during a hectic time in Braxton's career. After the commercial success from the preceding singles and co-headlining a tour with Kenny G, Braxton was exhausted. The time schedule for a video was roughly one day for director Bille Woodruff. A simple video featured Braxton wandering around in a white room wearing a white tanktop, blue jeans and a built up shoe.
"I Don't Want To" was written and produced by R. Kelly, who was also responsible for all instruments, background vocals and mixing. Braxton provided both lead and background vocals. It was recorded at Middle Ear Studio, Miami Beach, Florida. According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Universal Music Publishing Group, "I Don't Want To" is written in the key of B major with a moderate tempo of 109 beats per minute. Braxton's vocal range spans from the low note of F3 to the high note of G4. It follows in the chord progression of B–B9-G#7sus4-G#7–C#m-C#m(maj7)-C#m7-F#. The midtempo R&B ballad talks about the agony of heartbreak. It also touches upon themes of loss and abstinence.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic praised R. Kelly's composition, noting that he "demonstrate[s] why [he is] considered [one] of the top songwriters in '90s R&B and soul." Larry Flick of Billboard praised its groove, which according to him, "is masterfully woven by R. Kelly," adding: "He smartly keeps the musical melodrama to a minimum, opting instead for a smooth and subtle jeep-soul setting that leaves plenty of room for La B to flex her rich vocal range. David Fricke of Rolling Stone also praised Kelly, noting that "the unruffled tenor of the music, however, puts the focus squarely on Braxton, and she's up to it."
"I Don't Want To" was released as the album's third single on March 11, 1997. In the United States, the song was released as a double A-side with "I Love Me Some Him". On March 31, 1997, the song was released in the United Kingdom. Commercially, "I Don't Want To" proved to be moderately successful in the United States, reaching number nineteen on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, while peaking at number nine on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The song also became her third consecutive chart-topper on the BillboardHot Dance Club Play in July 1997, following "You're Makin' Me High" and "Un-Break My Heart". In the United Kingdom, "I Don't Want To" became Braxton's third consecutive top-ten single from Secrets, peaking at number nine. In New Zealand, the song debuted at number 31, and two weeks later climbed to number 21, becoming its peak position. In Sweden, the song debuted at number 57, climbing to number 29 in the second week. Two weeks later, the song peaked at number 15, falling on the two following weeks until it climbed to its peak position once again. It later remained for further six weeks on the charts.
The accompanying music video for the song was directed by Bille Woodruff and shot during a hectic time in Braxton's career. After the commercial success from the preceding singles and co-headlining a tour with Kenny G, Braxton was exhausted and it was shot in one day. The video was considered simple, featuring Braxton wandering around in a white room wearing a white tanktop, blue jeans and a built up shoe. The original treatment for the video was a one-take version. Woodruff told MTV News that he shot multiple takes and at the end of the day, the best version would be picked. The video had Braxton walking around a house, trying on various wigs and scrubbing her feet in a bathtub. However, Woodruff made a "creative decision to scrap the first shoot in favor of a simpler, non-bathroom video," after MTV News staff claimed that "a reporter pointed out that Jewel, Tony Rich, and No Doubt had already started a mini-trend by using bathrooms as video backdrops."