The actress, who parted ways with TV producer Allison Adler in August (11), became emotional as she discussed the break-up during a topical discussion about love and marriage on her U.S. daytime chat show The Talk.
Gilbert said, "I don't know if marriage is all it's cracked up to be. I've never been married but I was in a long relationship, and it's emotional for me because we're not together, but I wouldn't trade that time because it was just a special time in my life.
"I see people in their seventies and you go, how do people do it? How do they make it last? And I would like to do that."
A teary Gilbert was comforted by her guest co-hosts, former Friends star Aisha Tyler and Kim Kardashian's mother Kris Jenner, who told her, "But you know what, you have those memories for the rest of your life and all we all have is our experience and our memories, and those are the most important things. It's not the stuff, it's the people."
Accepting the kind words, Gilbert added, "We have beautiful children together, a lot of love for each other and we do continue into the next chapter together, just in a different way."
The actress shares custody of her two kids with Adler, son Levi, six, and four-year-old daughter Sawyer.