"The Woman You Love" is notable for being Ashanti's first independent release on her own record label, Written Entertainment. Whilst discussing the move, Ashanti said, "I’m so excited to have my own record label, Written Entertainment. With eOne as my distributor, I feel that their innovative and ambitious approach to the music industry, really gives my label a worldwide presence". Elaborating further, she also said, "they have the top radio people in the business and are hungry to win! The more I learned the business the more I knew this is what I wanted. Ownership is so important. As a business woman this was a great move for me!" "The Woman You Love" samples elements of Cream's 1968 single "White Room", written by Peter Brown and John Bruce.
"The Woman You Love" features rapper Busta Rhymes (pictured)
MTV writer, William E. Ketchum III, wrote "the song features a pulsating backdrop, and Ashanti singing about a love interest who wasted her time, despite her trying her best to make him happy" while "[Busta Rhymes] caps off the song by admitting the man’s guilt and asking for her back, before insisting that he’s gone for good if he leaves". Likewise, Trent Fitzgerald of PopCrush described "The Woman You Love" as featuring "a thumping beat and a grooving bass line" with lyrics "about a failed relationship with no reconciliation in sight" and a "cameo" appearance by rapper Busta Rhymes who stars "as the apologetic beau looking for a second chance with ‘Shanti."The Prophet Blog wrote that Busta Rhymes adds "some serious street cred to the song that sounds closer to the hood than the radio" before describing the song as being "definitely targeted towards the R&B/Hip-Hop crowd" and thus "should please Ashanti stans and urban listeners alike" but also wrote, £it may be a little too edgy to crossover like the diva’s past records have."
"The Woman You Love" received general acclaim from critics. Trent Fitzgerald of Popcrush wrote "This song is a great start for Ashanti" and expressed great interest in "what she is going to bring in 2012 now that she is an independent woman".The Prophet Blog published that "for her first indie release, Ashanti’s taking it back to basics", writing that the song "harks back to the hard-edged hip-hop of the 90s" and "during a time when most rappers are lining up to collaborate with David Guetta and RedOne, that’s incredibly refreshing".
On January 28, 2012, Ashanti began shooting the video for the single. The video features actor/model Marcus Patrick to serve as her leading man in the clip. The video premiered on BET's106 & Park on March 13, 2012 and peaked at number 5 on April 23, 2012
"The Woman You Love" debuted at number ninety-seven on the BillboardHot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for the week of January 7, 2012. Three weeks later the song re-entered at number ninety-five for the week of January 28, 2012.