The song is a mid-tempo ballad in which the narrator recalls a teen-aged encounter with a female, during a late summer vacation in a beach town. In the chorus, he explains that although he has to leave the next day to his home in Cleveland (not the city in Ohio, but rather the one in Tennessee), he still tells her, "I don't see how you could ever be anything but mine". The radio edit features an abridged intro and outro, while the album version features a false ending, followed by another repetition of the chorus run through a vocal filter.
Scooter Carusoe, the writer of this song, also co-wrote Chesney's 2008 Number One hit "Better as a Memory" with Lady Goodman.
The video, directed by Shaun Silva, was shot in Malibu, California and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Chesney and the band were filmed in Myrtle Beach at Family Kingdom Amusement Park, in front of a ride called, "The Hurricane," and the Myrtle Beach Pavilion, The scenes featuring surfer Amy Cobb as "Mary" were shot on the California coast & also in Myrtle Beach. Sonny Miller, who also shot the film "Blue Crush," was employed for the underwater and surfing scenes in California.
"Anything but Mine" debuted at number 52 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week of January 1, 2005.